Seth E. Berg
This post represents the last assignment in a two-year course of study that I have just completed along with an incredible group of educational leaders from the Metro Detroit area. If you are reading this and not associated with the Troy EdS cohort, I’d like to point out that “sucking on raisins” refers to a mindfulness meditation practice we were introduced to in our first semester while dealing with stress reduction techniques. While it would seem likely that I might celebrate the completion of a long and intense course of study, the fact that this group will no longer be meeting weekly is a source of sadness for each of us. If you have not had an extended cohort experience, I highly recommend it and, if at all possible, find a group of people who have the potential to transform and enlighten you!
Thanks for a great two years at Oakland U – Troy Cohort Class of 2013!
It’s amazing to think that we met two years ago. A group of strangers with some common goals, brought together by ambitions to continue on our individual paths of educational leadership, sitting in a room, sucking on raisins, and destine to become one of the closest groups of collaborators I’ve been involved with in my professional life. This has been an incredible journey! In the past week, and without a scheduled group meeting, I have been in touch with seven of my cohort colleagues for one reason or another. I am supremely confident that the bond we share will keep us working together for years to come. Among the greatest lessons I’ve been learning over the past two years is that when likeminded, passionate, authentic educators, driven by the desire to influence learning communities, tie themselves to one another through intense research, reflection, and critical thinking…incredible things can happen!
Perpetuating that kind of connection is the cornerstone of the legacy I hope to leave on the communities that I serve as an educational leader. I believe that every individual has the potential to offer unique contributions. If nothing else, I hope to encourage and support those contributions. My leadership vision involves the realization of every individual’s ambitions through concerted collaborative efforts, and the melding of those ambitions into collective determination. Over the past two years I’ve repeatedly come to understand that my work is truly enhanced when I appreciate that in fact it’s not “my” work, but that it’s “our” work. The connectedness of this cohort, along with the ability to practice while being submerged in leadership learning, has forced me to evolve; I am truly grateful for that. If “my” work is “our” work, then “my” legacy is actually “our” legacy.
Along with authentic connections and collective visioning comes the application of incredible classroom instruction. I appreciate that this course of study constantly had us articulating how theory links to reality. I would love to imagine that increased student achievement and enhanced attitudes toward learning will somehow be connected to the legacy that my contemporaries and I leave on the communities we serve. We are all here for the same reason. We are deeply committed to making sure that children have opportunities to become everything they hope to be. We strive to design learning environments that challenge and motivate them. We toil over structures, systems, and strategies so that our classrooms inspire learners to understand, explore, and take advantage of their unique characteristics and abilities. We are in the business of facilitating a process by which the global citizens of our future can reach and exceed their highest potential. Part of our legacy must be that we have succeeded in prioritizing these things above all else, and that we have worked tirelessly to make sure that they happen. I am proud to have been a member of this wonderful cohort, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the incredible network of educational leaders that we have become!