In Allport's trait theory, personality is said to develop within the first 18 months of life. People are born innately good. He goes on to say that each of us is in a constant state of becoming. This statement struck me this morning, the morning of my 23rd wedding anniversary. My husband and I continue to evolve as a couple, parents, best friends, and spouses. I began to think of my career, my personal life. I began to ask myself questions. I began to wonder. As I go through this journey to reach the pinnacle of my educational life, what am I becoming? Am I coming to the "end" of my journey?
When I look back on my career, I feel I have always been in a state of becoming. I have always told my staff to push themselves, to be more than they are currently, to try new things. I have never been satisfied with just being in a current state - I always looked to the future. I have never been satisfied with that "in the box" thinking. I wanted to do what was best for employees, families, and most importantly, students. I have always been able to improve my surroundings and see a path to new heights. People in charge have not always accepted this because it was out of the norm. I wasn’t like everyone else. I didn’t want to be.
This is where I believe we need to go in education. We need to be in a constant state of becoming. Becoming the best we can. Becoming a system that supports our educators. Becoming a system that supports children and their quest. Becoming what our students need so they equip themselves for the future. Becoming what our community needs from us. If we don't work toward becoming, we are stagnant. Stagnation is not living and breathing. Stagnation is disappearing. Growing and changing is becoming.
I chose to step away from being a school and district administrator to push myself into new territory. It has been the toughest two years of my career but the most rewarding. I would recommend it to everyone. I chose to step out in to the business world to see what I could learn and bring back to education. Taking a step back gives new perspective. Instead of always looking from the inside, I have had the opportunity to see things using a new lens. I even chose a new "major" for my doctoral program. I chose to dive into the world of Industrial / Organizational Psychology, not Education. I wanted to explore the "why" behind systems, not just the "how". Why do people do the things they do, think the way they think? What can I do as a leader to continue to encourage people to reach deep, to try new things, and to continue to become.
I feel primed and ready to continue my journey to become. I am not sure yet what I will become but I encourage each person to not get complacent with where you are but become something different – new. Become something new, see a new perspective, be courageous.
To be or to become - there is no question.