Those who know me are not surprised that I wanted to launch this company. I love learning! I love the processes of thinking and collaborating and how much I grow from every meaningful interaction I have with others. Even in my early teaching career, I can remember putting my ideas out there for all to see, eager to learn from and with my new colleagues…only to be met with resistance and a misunderstanding of the professional “food chain” that existed within the school. As a new teacher, I was to listen and learn, not share my ideas. My professional learning was reduced to whole group PD sessions delivered by “experts” and whatever reading I could manage to squeeze into my free time. Can you say cognitive block??
Over the years, I was fortunate to work with other like-minded colleagues who also valued collaboration and reflection, yet I was still striving for more. Then, through my work with Penn Literacy Network, I realized what I’d been missing: the opportunity to create a community of thinkers and learners outside of my classroom. Yes, this was what I wanted: to shape schools into places where the learning of the adults was just as important as the learning of the students. So I took the leap, left the classroom, and began my career as a national instructional coach. And over the next five years, I surrounded myself with amazing thinkers and learners and engaged in the most meaningful professional learning of my career, and probably my entire life.
Fast forward to today and inFOCUS. Upon reflecting on my personal journey towards metacognition and the most significant professional growth of my career, I want to create this same experience for others. No more tiered systems of learning; say goodbye to systemic blocks to professional growth; stand up to “sit and get” training models and passive professionalism. Let’s collaborate to ENGAGE in critical thinking, EMPOWER leadership, and ELEVATE learning. I had to wait over 15 years to be a part of a learning community where everyone was valued and learning was relevant. That’s a long time. Can you think of one good reason why you and the members of your organization can wait 15 years to truly grow? I know I can’t.