I know, I know . . . they are still really strangers to me. Social media connections, yes. But, I don't really know them. Not, personally, really. Not yet. The pirates, I mean. Dave Burgess. Shelley Burgess. Beth Houf. Paul Solarz. Michael Matera. And, more. Hell, I don't even really know a super ton about my co-author, Rebecca Coda, personally. We are friends, yes. A great balance, we have. Co-authorship that rocketed into the sky. A home run. A message that needed to be said and a publisher who wants us to say it. No longer will this issue be silenced. The Dunk Tank, that is. A book FILLED with stories from leaders like you and me: what they faced, are facing, or might face in the future while they try to do the right thing each day. No one has ever said that leadership is easy. No one that I know.
So, I told you what I still don't know, but what I am excited to learn about in the future. My fellow pirates are really neat.
But, here's what I do know about my social media colleagues and publisher right now: The Pirates are like-minded thought leaders. They are bright. Passionate. They love kids and education. They love leading others. They love innovation. They have great ideas. They teach, learn, explore, and lead like pirates. Good pirates. They HATE the status quo and so do I. They deal with issues that matter. I can speak for Rebecca, too, on that level.
When I wake up each morning as an Educational Consultant, I carry out my own craft asking the following questions to myself:
1. Is what I am doing good for kids?
2. Are the relationships that I am making placing me with other like-minded educators so we can do something that pushes boundaries? Something that makes a difference?
3. Is there something that I can do to train other school leaders about the realities of the political machine within education? Can I maneuver my writing into something powerful enough so the wheel in education is turned over to the proper drivers: the kids and their talented educators?
4. Can we push on the elephant so hard that adversarial conditions in education are confronted and even taught in colleges and universities--you know the ones who are supposed to train school leaders, but intentionally leave out all the gory stuff so people do not drop out and re-think their career path?
5. Can we take the dunk tank that exists for teacher leaders, school leaders, superintendents, and even kids--you know, those traps or roads that lead us to nowhere--and finally permit us to throw top-soil on pointless potholes while planting seeds in education that will send long-lasting shock-waves of positivism across the nation? I know, that was a mouthful. Soapbox, I get on, sometimes. I think that is a run-on sentence, too. Rebecca is great at getting me to re-focus.
My questions for you are:
What are you going to do today in education (for students and staff) that sends a shock-wave so strong that the Geiger Counter reading flies right off the scale, itself? What are you going to do to teach, learn, explore, and lead like a pirate? How are YOU going to deal with adversity so that you are not on the receiving end of a water-wilted finger pointing at you with a "DUNK YOU!" non-verbal symbol of disgrace? How are you going to solve REAL problems that educators and kids face each day?
There is power in "piracy." One for all and all for one. The scary thing is that there are more of us out there just waiting for the right time to be heard and no longer be silenced. Ever hear of Dr. Jennifer Fraser, author of Teaching Bullies? That's just one example. There are more. Boy, there are lots more.
The School Leader's Dunk Tank is coming soon! Will you be ready?
Check out the line-up of "20," so far: