Joyce and Ida, this is for you!
I do not write in english very often. I love the way I can play with words. Play with the values and nuances of words that I´m able to do in my mother tongue – swedish.
My english isn´t good enough to do that, but this text has to be an an exception.
This is the reason why.
Today I had visitors at my school. Joyce and Ida, two (master)students currently in London, but with plans to take their skills and knowledge back to their home countries, to take part of (or hopefully lead!) the school development there. Joyce and Ida observed our teachers and students in class, they had lunch with some of our curious and very talkative eleven-year-olds and they had an intense joyful conversation with a couple of teachers. They also interviewed me as a principal.
You never learn as much about yourself as when you tell someone else your story!
We touched many perspectives of education; from the classroom-relation between teacher and student, to state politics in comparison between countries. We met in our equal experiences and our curiosity in each others differences.
And then Joyce asked me a question. I don´t remember the exact words, but something like: ”You seem to be confident in your way of thinking about school development and in your role as a principal. Can you pinpoint acts or things that made a difference for you in your career? I want to learn more – what advices can you give me?”
I think I said something about the moment when I realized that I have a strength in seeing patterns and complex structures in organizations and systems – and that being a good leader is to be able to make others see what I see.
I think I also said something about being brave enough to dare to show my failures, to ask for help and never forget that I am also learning – and I will only stay being a good leader as long as I keep on learning.
But by the time Joyce and Ida had left, heading back to London, I realized what I really had wanted to say.
I am sure that the most important advice I could ever give, is this:
Being passionate is compatible with being professional, strategic and scientific!
Never ever be afraid to let your passionate thoughts set the highest goals; only then you will be able to start travelling there!
And never ever be afraid to show and share your passion! It will make both you and the ones you share it with grow – and that is the deep essence and meaning of learning!