Stepping Forward… #sol19

Stepping Forward…  #sol19

August 27, 2019

My shoes are a little too tight this morning.  I’m worried if I will make it through the day with them.  They are shiny white.  They look great with these pants.  They have orthopedic insoles.  These shoes should be wonderful.  I put them on and took them off 3 times before I left the house.  At the last minute, I packed my old beat up sneakers in my bag.

My new shoes are like the new year,or more likely, a new initiative.  These shoes are subtly different than my old pair.  Most would say an improvement.  These shoes are leather, stronger than my old canvas sneakers.  These shoes have supportive insoles. My old sneakers didn’t have much support.  These new sneakers are bright and shiny and honestly make a really strong first impression. My old sneakers bear a strong resemblance to my lawn mowing shoes.  Those old sneakers have the beginnings of a hole in the toe.  The heel is starting to fray and I can’t quite keep them white anymore.

In short,  I really, really want to keep those old familiar sneakers and put those new shiny sneakers back in the closet.  It would be so much easier.  I can slip them on without tying them!  Maybe if I wash them one more time or leave them out with the baking soda in the sun, they will brighten up and be shiny and (almost) new again.

Screen Shot 2019-08-27 at 7.35.23 AM.png . This is the image one of our speakers at yesterday’s kick off showed us at the beginning of her talk. (@denasimmons) .  I am putting that front and center on my white board this morning.  I’m also wearing those new sneakers.  You can see right through my metaphor, and it is still true.  We cannot let the good keep us from the great.  I cannot let all the things that have been comfortably worked through the last nine years or even just the last one, keep me from helping us move forward to a shiny, new future.

So yes,  those sneakers, and those new initiatives feel super uncomfortable right now.  I believe that discomfort, that disequilibrium, is where the best work happens.  I have seen it time and time again in my career.  So I’m going to try them on,  I’m going to scuff them up a little, and maybe, tonight I’ll have to wear a bandage, metaphorically … and actually.  Those students in our changing population will be better for my rethink.  They will be better for my thoughtful consideration of their agency, their growth, their future over my own comfort.

You’ll recognize me in the crowd.  I’ll be rocking my new shoes.



I write bravely on Tuesday in the company of my Slice of Life community.  Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating this community.  Thank you to my fellow slicers that help me be a braver and better educator/writer all the time.

3 thoughts on “Stepping Forward… #sol19

  1. What a metaphor, Susan! As someone with problematic feet, I could relate to likening breaking in a new pair of shoes to taking on a new initiative. In time, everything new becomes familiar.

  2. What a perfect metaphor for letting go of what’s comfortable to embracing new ideas. I always want to wear my most comfortable shoes since my feet are hard to please! I am in a Co-teaching classroom for the first time this year and it means putting several new pairs of shoes even if it’s uncomfortable!

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