Educational Change Is a Change of Heart

After we pontificated about education for hours over 4pm decaf coffees, one of my long-time colleagues stood at the door and opined about the following:

  • Ego
  • Judgment
  • Control

“Ego, judgment, control,” she cautioned, ”Those are what we need to eradicate from education. They are hurting us.”

Her final comments left me considering how the five journeys sit in juxtaposition to ego, judgment, and control. Truly, they are the antidotes, “faith, worthiness, selfhood, belonging, and changemaking.” 

As adults, it is still a moment-by-moment intention to bring our best selves.  We must shed the former and embrace the five journeys. Honestly, it’s a spiritual journey of surrender.  

Here are some mindset (or heartful) shifts I find helpful…

From comparison to compassion

Learn Forward™ centers ‘worthiness’ as a most important journey.  When I compare myself to other teachers, leaders, or eduheroes, I rarely come out on the sunny side.  Often, ‘comparison’ is the thief of joy.  

Add to that, we have big jobs in education.  Like you, I’m working on building Learn Forward™, just like I’ve worked on building a school.  It’s not an easy journey and I’m unsure of myself.  Have you ever felt that way?  

Rather, how can we cultivate worthiness?  I find the journey to worthiness, is paved with compassion, self-compassion to be more specific. 

Recently, I am really working on my self-talk. Secondly, I am not buying back into the ego hustle, but rather the wholehearted effort.  Finally, The Builder (my main squeeze) encourages me to give myself time, grace, and space.  

The shift is to be compassionate with self first.

From predictable to adaptable

Certainly, I know we want and need to have our lessons, days, and units planned.  We definitely need to design powerful learning experiences because that’s our job.  But, within our predictable plans, we can cultivate adaptable hearts.  

Start with a “can-do” attitude.  Then, meet challenges with creativity.  Additionally, entertain disruptions as opportunities.  Of course, follow failures with reflections.  We can definitely cultivate adaptability.  

Photo by Greg Weaver on Unsplash

Today, consider giving some space and grace to the current of change in your context.  It will be okay.

From pursuing perfection to embracing the messiness

Our Learners and Scholars embrace imperfection every day.  Indeed, it’s part of the deal.  And, we can too!  I realize holding ourselves to a standard of excellence is such a gift to our students.  And, it can’t be at the expense of our mental health.  

Life isn’t perfect.  Classrooms aren’t perfect.  Above all, education isn’t perfect.  So, embracing the truth, understanding that perfection is an illusion is a really important way to let go.  Surrender is the solution to control.

What can you relax into today?

From mechanic to organic

Sometimes we have our lessons, curricula, and scope and sequence all well-honed.  Usually, by year number four in any grade, most teachers have it nailed.  But, then life happens, schools must go online, communities become fractured, or teachers struggle.  

For example, living with an organic mindset can help us:

  • Believe that after winter, the spring will come
  • Honor what is true in each Learner’s journey
  • Trust the slow work of time
  • Plant again
  • Celebrate the little buds, the fragile shoots, and tiniest blossoms who are emerging with hopefulness.

Today, growth is happening all around you!  Can you feel it?



Do you want a professional learning experience to help you focus on what matters most?  Do you long for something different in education, but aren’t exactly sure how to realize the change?  Is your leadership driving you down the path of burnout, cynicism, or frustration?  EdLeadership Peak Training is designed for you!  A 3-tiered subscription leadership learning community with ‘you-sized options’ to support your growth journey.  Pre-register today.