The newspaper has to learn what its real value is and that is, indeed, reporting and its editors have to stop defending raw numbers of bodies. They need to boil themselves down to their essence and they haven’t had the courage to do that yet.
Source: Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine

When undergoing change, one has to commit to stripping down to the bare essentials, to finding out what is that really makes you tick…what is it of value that is worth keeping.

What is that I’m doing that makes a difference, and what doesn’t? Some have suggested that No Child Left Behind is really about stripping down to essentials, investing more money in our children. As ed-tech funding is threatened, zero’d out, I start to think that maybe is the time to strip to bare essentials, to find our essence as educators.

Here’s an excerpt from Carly Fiorina’s commencement address back in 2001. I like what Fiorina says, simply because it resonates with me as a recent 38 year old who’s just lost his father. It resonates because it reminds me that FEAR is what blocks our first steps in any venture, no matter how young or old, and that we can choose what our path is.

When you graduate from here, you exit with thousands of pages of personal text on which are inscribed beliefs and values shaped by years of education, family interactions, relationships, experiences. And buried within those thousands of pages is your personal truth, your essence. So, how do you distill your life down to its essence? You can begin by confronting your fears. I understand now, 25 years after that class: it is through a similar, personal distillation process that I have encountered my own fears, and mastered them.

Each time I encountered fear, each time I had another moment of “ah-hah,” I was getting closer to identifying my essence – my true heart, my true self. The first epiphany came in a moment of realization that I really did measure up. It was about conquering the fear of inadequacy.

So, as educators, what are the fears we need to confront? As educators, what is our true self? What are the choices we need to make? And, how long will it take us to start making them?


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