Posted by Lori Nazareno on Tuesday, 02/11/2014
There always have been, and always will be, those who can envision a world that is significantly different than that which currently exists. Then there are those who make excuses or find numerous reasons why those things can’t happen or won’t work.
The people who can envision another way are those who will re-invent life and education as we know it. Those who can’t…won’t.
Which one are you?
Belief Strengthens into Experience
Have you ever played the, “If I could design a school, I would…” game? If so, how did you complete that sentence?”
I did. And that vision became reality.
As I played the “If I could…” game, I developed a deep-seated belief that schools and schooling should be different and that teachers should lead the way. Looking back now, I realize that as a result of my belief, opportunities to develop skills and abilities as a teacher leader began to come my way. The more I took advantage of those opportunities, the more opportunities presented themselves, and the better prepared I became. And this strengthened my belief.
Over time this became a cycle that fed itself; strengthened belief led to more opportunity that strengthened my belief and led to more opportunities and so on. Ultimately, this cycle led into the opportunity to design and launch the teacher-powered school, the Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy (MSLA).
The Way it Works
For everything from the smallest object to the grandest idea, all things are twice created. First they are created in your mind, then they become manifest in your experience. This concept is just as true for the pencil as it is for the system of a free public education for all. Each was first an idea (and belief) in someone’s mind. And it is this concept that set in motion all of the opportunities and experiences that ultimately resulted in the creation of MSLA.
Throughout history a wide range of individuals have taught this concept. Jesus said, “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe you have received it and it will be yours”. Ernest Holmes tells us the “The visible is the Invisible made manifest.” And Melissa Etheridge sings, “If you think you’ll never make it you will, if you think you’re gonna break it you will… You are what you believe. And if you believe, then you will see, you will”.
Ultimately, what we believe on the deepest level, we create in our lives. This process creates a cycle that feeds itself. And each experience reinforces and strengthens the belief that created it.
If we believe that we are powerless, we are. If we believe that we can make a difference, we will.
Does that mean you sit idly by and wish things into being? Of course, not!
So, how do you manifest the classroom, the school, the profession or the life that you envision?
Where to Start
Here are a few ideas:
- Create in your “mind’s eye” what you intend and believe that it is possible.
- Take opportunities to prepare as though whatever you intend is already available. Act “as if”, whatever it is that you intend is already true.
- Pay attention, notice, and act on synchronistic events. These are way-showers to put your vision into action.
- Actively seek out opportunities to practice your skills and to actualize your intention.
- What do you believe about yourself both personally and professionally?
- How do those beliefs show up in your experience? How do they feed and strengthen that belief?
- What do you believe about our profession? Our students? Our schools?
- What is your vision for how schooling could improve for students?
- How might you begin to lead change in order to manifest your vision?