I love plane rides (especially when I don’t have a toddler crawling across my lap!). They give me time and space to reflect and plane and knock out some tasks that require an extended period of focus and concentration. (And sometimes I just don’t do anything except watch Fixer Upper on HGTV).
I recently flew to Connecticut to meet with the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector, tour public Montessori schools, and attend the Yale School of Management education conference.
On the way back home, I opened my journal and filled a whole page with years: 2015, 2016, 2017… I realized that I had filled the page with 20 years. I then proceeded to brainstorm what direction I would like my work to take in the next 20 years. Next to the year, I also included my sons’ ages.
Y’all, it’s going to go so quickly! We only have this one chance with our wild and precious life.
I started by making a list of what my strengths are. I recently heard that we should spend 80-90% of our time on things we’re good at and 10-20% of our time on tasks that stretch us. I looked at what I think our organization will do over the next 20 years and my skills might be the most useful.
At the Yale School of Management conference, I ran into many former colleagues—one of them taught with me in rural South Louisiana back in 2003. It made me reflect on how old I’m getting (37 this year). My bio says that I have “more than a decade” in education reform, but it’s now been 16 years. I’m getting so old!
I’m glad I found my way to Montessori For All. I’m pretty sure my career is set for life (unless I get fired), but I know that my job will continue to evolve and look very different from year to year (our organization has a four-pronged theory of change, including opening public charter schools in diverse communities nationwide, codifying and disseminating our approach, creating a Montessori teacher training center, and then working as consultants for public districts who are interested in strengthening or creating Montessori programs.
As my work life becomes more sustainable, I look forward to freeing up more time for personal projects. I’ll figure out what those will be on a year-by-year basis.