As I look into the waters of reflection and I think back on my first year in the coaching role I smile with contentment. Was the year easy? No. Was it hard? No. It was satisfying, it pushed me to new limits, I have grown professionally and personally in ways that I could not predict would happen. My greatest reward from the year is that my growth and celebrations from the year are not my own – they have been shared.
Today we were asked to finish the statement: “A learning coach is like a windsurfer because…..?” . As I looked at the photo I recalled what it felt like to windsurf and could feel and see so many analogies. First Balance – as a coach we must balance and keep in mind many facets. The division’s vision, our school’s mission, a teacher’s goals, what is best for students, our strengths and areas of growth. Without keeping everything in mind and keeping the balance you could end up taking a swim. Second, the sail – strength is needed to keep the sail held high against the resisting winds so that movement forward is achieved. To let go when there is resistance would mean floating without purpose. We need to work with the wind for movement. Focus and planning is the last similarity, you must look ahead and have purpose and vision for where you want to finish. Without a plan and without vision the balance and the sail could not be purposeful.
I am thankful for those who filled my sails. For those that set me off balance and made me take another look at situations. I have celebrated every child and colleague who has met me here at the end of the sail. Get ready for the next one – I can’t wait to see you out there navigating the waters!