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Thieving for Good

... and thanking those whom I've lifted from.

Thank you for letting me steal from you.

I have come to learn that Life is beautiful once you surround yourself with those who will empower you.  I have come to believe that by lifting each other up, every person being lifted gets stronger, better, magnificent.

I had written a blog post two years ago about my experience of applying for the ADE Class of 2015. I look back on that golden moment and think how I meant every word, how when I read my own past I smile with so much pride at the amazing friends who support me to this very day, and I have no doubt, forever going forward.  I absolutely have amazing friends, and I am grateful for all that they have taught me.

This year, in a new administrative role, my world is experiencing changes, both in physical space and mind, and I am learning all over again what it feels like to settle into a new place, what it takes to make it a home. With busy-ness as the scapegoat, I have even stopped sharing my writing for the past year: I had to close out one chapter, set up for a new one, and then learn how to live out that new story.

But tonight, as I sit with still a million other things I must do in preparation for a Monday morning, I tell Busy-ness to shush and write, inspired yet again over the reflection of my ADE application process deux, tugged by Nostalgia who reminds me to thank those from whom I've learned.

Two minutes of video couldn't capture that gratitude.

John, thank you for teaching me the power of a school hashtag. Thank you for empowering me to hack a system if it's worth revamping. Shaun, thank you for making my classroom burst with laughter with the idea of #5mins4fun and letting me remind others that people, kids or not, learn better when they're having fun. Jeff, thank you for having been a great coach through COETAIL and sharing what the create-your-own-magazine feature in Flipboard can do when reimagined as a live textbook. Mark, thank you for the phrase, "Hey, try it - remember, you can never break it!" and empowering me to not only blog, but create iTunesU courses confidently. Ceci, thank you for showcasing me as a presenter at your EAL conference and letting me see that I've so much to share, so much to showcase, and for seeing me before I saw myself.

And to my current colleagues at #KnightsROK: When I shared the idea of applying for ADE2017, I myself wasn't sure if I could create my video. Why? Because I'm always the one behind the camera... I hadn't enough high quality scenes of me presenting and sharing with you. And with vulnerability I asked if you'd be so kind to allow me your extra time to let me recreate my presentations. Not a single of you flinched or paused before a resounding and gracious, "Of course!" And when I asked you to write on my office window one word that would describe your experience in working with me, you all came to my aid and shared -- making me laugh, making me grateful... making me strong, giving me meat, as Ceci would say.

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The ADE process deux was different from my first, but it is just as powerful for me as I continue to grow as an educator, leader, colleague, friend and simply, a human being.

The world is nuts these days, especially within the two countries I call home by birth and nationality with their respective political turmoils, but within the chaos, I have this beauty that I simply cannot quantify justly in words. How forever grateful am I.

Thank you for helping me grow into an empowerer, a sharer, a pickpocketer of ideas and promoter of transparency. Thank you for making me innovate, create and experience the power of collaboration. Isn't this what we want our students to learn from us? Don't we need this education now more than ever...?

Surrounding myself with those who #lifteachotherup has made my life beautiful.

I can't recommend it highly enough. Speaking of, GSIS Design teacher Jean-Loup was also encouraged and empowered to submit his ADE application, and helping him complete his was such a fun and rewarding experience!

My ADE2017 application video is for all of you that have helped me be where and who I am today as a forever learner. I hope you won't be disappointed if I don't make it, but even if I don't, I am winning every day for having learned from, and alongside, you.

Thank you.

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Here is Jean-Loup's with his permission. So lovely.

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