Choosing Tools for a Journey

Choosing Tools for a Journey

Just over a month from now I will hit the road for more than 12 weeks to visit with educational leaders at some 60+ schools around the country.  Over the next 30 days I will post a few thoughts about preparation for such a journey, some practical, some thoughtful, some metaphorical for the journey that we all are on. Hope you will encourage your colleagues to follow my blog, learn, connect, and participate in the discussion.

We all have personal tool chests, arsenals, quivers that we fill with real and imagined resources for our work.  My journey is one of both mind and body, so the tools I take will have to be both tangible and intangible.  Here are a few that came to mind today:

Some tangibles:

  • One Prius, good gas mileage; new tires; a recent check-up.
  • Navigon GPS on my iPhone.  I am a lover of paper maps, but this time I need the security of that real time voice leading me through unfamiliar streets and cities.
  • Two small suitcases so when clothes get dirty I don’t have to take them all into a new motel every night.
  • Video camera and tripod
  • Computer
  • iPad. I never travel without a stock of paperbacks to decompress with or kill a few hours, but since I have an iPad I will stock it with my reading material and forego the bulk of books.
  • An extra hard drive to offload video from my computer once a week.
  • A lightweight golf bag that holds about 6 clubs and a half dozen balls, enough to get me around a course in the event I have to stop and play nine holes somewhere out of shear moral compulsion.

Some intangibles:

  • Curiosity: I want to ask lots of questions and hold my own ideas in check.
  • Patience: There will be times the trip does not go as planned; I learned travel patience in India many years ago.
  • Self-confidence: I don’t know anyone else who has done this sort of thing, so I must have some degree of courage, and I should give myself credit for that.
  • Fortitude: this is going to be a long journey, mostly on my own. I need to draw strength and learn lessons from people who have real challenges, like soldiers, Olympic athletes, and middle school teachers.
  • Calmness: with all the driving, talking, writing, downloading, and racing mind, I need to embrace the western desert, the Iowa fields, the Appalachian fall colors; slow down at times and reflect, meditate on what I am learning, find the gems.

Hmmm.  Sounds like a plan for pretty much any journey upon which we embark, or a set of lessons for our students! More later.

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