Keeping it in Perspective: Leading within the Tension.

The last two weeks of my life have been so surreal I have no choice but to get it out... here...and now.  Here is the short of it.

  1. I was acknowledged as an Apple Distinguished Educator.
  2. My iTunesU course got listed in the Outstanding High School section of iTunesU.
  3. My project seems to be gaining support and interest from teachers, administrators, and colleges. 

First of all being accepted as an ADE is truly an honor and I am absolutely humbled to be acknowledged amongst this class of educators. However...

I struggle with how to handle all this- honestly. I am glad I have this blog to write on because I feel like it is between me and the page. Yet, I want to tell others. If I am truly honest with myself, I fight the tension between being humble and being recognized. If I am honest, the selfish person within me wants to be recognized by everyone, I want glory, yet I want to be the same. I know this changes nothing. I don't want to come across as having it all together, cause the truth is none of us do. And adding a label to my resume doesn't make me a different person today then I was yesterday. However, the question I must answer everyday, is how do I lead with me, who I am, what I believe in, how I care about kids, colleagues, and education; and not from the title Apple Distinguished Educator?

The simple truth is, that a label is just that, few words to categorize an object. Is it fair to say that labels  will create change? Bring leadership? Ignite creativity and innovation? I don't think so. Rather it is the heart of the individual connecting with heart of others that will bring about change, leadership, and innovation.

Wearing this label I must be intentional about leading from the standpoint of a servant. I can't afford to pull out my iPad, hide behind my MacBook, and say do as I do, and look what I know. Rather, I must strive to connect with the passions of others, seek their needs, and put relationships first. I must coach the heart and not the technology. I must see past the devices into the eyes of my students, colleagues, and others around me...I think this is true for all of us, despite the labels attached or positions we hold. However, the label ADE brings one under a finer microscope therefore:

  • I promise never to use this label as way of ranking myself or thinking that I am right because I'm a...
  • I promise to keep learning from anyone; kids, colleagues, ADE's, whoever it is. I must model the behavior of life long learning for others around me. 
  • I promise to use this label for the betterment of education, teaching, learning, and relationships with students, and not for the sole betterment of ME.
  • I promise to be me. I promise to keep sharing my failures. Keep taking risks. Keep seeking what is best for you, your class, and your students. 
  • I promise to be a servant leader. To seek first your passions, needs, & desires. And let you be you. 
I guess I can start to enjoy this great acknowledgement now. I just needed to make sure I promised to still be me. 

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One Response to Keeping it in Perspective: Leading within the Tension.

  1. Wow! Congratulations, Tony, on being selected as an ADE! I'm proud to say that I knew you back when you were just one of us. :>) But seriously, enjoy the recognition and the accomplishment!


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