What a day! Started out with some of my middle school teachers using polleverywhere for the first time - very exciting seeing the integration of mobile devices in the classroom. It then moved on to a jing introduction with a screencast follow up creating CSAP (our state assessment) proctor video tutorials. Which then moved on to an online meeting involving a few from my PLN discussing open source options for at-risk teens and how we may be able to create more online hybrid courses that meet the individual needs of the student.
Then enters several text messages from my amazing wife (a teacher too and who happens to be on her final month at home - FMLA - with our third child and my 2.5 year old) indicating that Matti (our two month old) is not into much of a routine today. Hmmm, well, you'd think by the time you've had your third child that the learning curve has been mastered and that this "kid" thing is a piece of cake - not today anyway. "Matti just seems to be off today - I feel that I've tried all my bag of tricks (in a motherly way) to comfort him but nothing seems to be working". Of course, I'm floating between buildings trying to troubleshoot (between texts and phone calls) like any good
technologist husband dad would do - but I'm coming up with nothing. To myself, repeatedly - What's going on?? Are you kidding me? We've got this! He's two months old AND we've done this two times already....but again, nothing.
I finally make it home and of course I'm greeted by my two year old with a Curious George DVD and my four year old is ready for our nightly hide and seek round and from around the corner I see my wife, smiling (in an I'm happy your home kind of way) - baby held like a running back - fast asleep. She greets me with a kiss (ahhh) and begins to just thank me for being there for her today. Of course, my immediate response is no worries as well as reassuring her that that although Matti is our third we still need to switch it up from time to time to best meet our kiddos individual needs (an all too familiar theme in education).
As I hold my boy tonight (Matti), I begin to think that we as (in my case, aspiring) leaders need to understand that all of the children, parents and teachers we come into contact with have individual needs - perhaps unmet needs that we must dissect in order to understand. Not all children come out of the box ready to move forward. Not all parents are perfect and certainly not all teachers can handle every situation. AND knowing that sometimes we need to adapt, improvise and overcome what is thrown at us on a daily, if not hourly basis is a must. Because "switchin it up" has to be one highlighted bullet on our resumes - it is on mine...how about yours?