Sometimes I am taken aback by the arrangement of moments that make up our lives.

Today these two quotes showed up for me, side by side…


The first quote flashed back at me from my TimeHop…a message to myself from 3 years ago. I know exactly where I was when I posted it-laying beside my grandma in her bed, on day 6 or 7 of being the hospital. I remember seeing the quote and making the decision to choose to be present, to give up on making it better and just make the most of what it was. I embraced her as I embraced the moment.


The second quote I read for the first time today, posted by my good friend and colleague @mj_teaches. I think I read it twelve times. There is something so right about this sentiment-the butterflies that aren’t in my stomach, a nervous excitement that extends to my core. It requires thoughtful action, but acknowledges uncertainty.

The two quotes together sum up so much of what I am feeling and connect so deeply to the work I am focusing on in my problem of practice for Learning Forward’s Academy.

The focus of our work is not always what we choose. We have to look at the data, examine the evidence, see what is really happening in our district, or department, or campus or classroom. We have to commit to really look beyond the surface, and then fully embrace the work as if it was our CHOICE. We don’t choose our students. We don’t choose their needs. We choose to serve.

And then once we made the choice and have set the course, we step into the experience. We do so with intentionality (logic models and theories of change and SMART goals). We don’t tip toe on the edge, but we fully immerse ourselves in the work, diving into the deep end with our teammates, our teachers, our students, our stakeholders.

We are nervous.  It isn’t comfortable. We feel vulnerable. It feels dangerous. 

But then again…all the best things make me nervous, aren’t comfortable, require vulnerability and are at least a little bit dangerous.

So today, I am recommitting myself to the combination of these quotes: embrace the moment, step in with intentionality, and know that I am doing “something right” as long as I am still learning…