My friend, Lydia B. Smith, is a documentary filmmaker. She held a fundraiser this week for her film, The Camino Documentary,
which honors those walking the ancient pilgrim path, the Camino de Santiago, in Northern Spain. It's a really spirited and spiritual film that inspires.
I have never been on the Camino (yet) but I do feel like I have been on a professional journey over the last few years - full of blisters and great vistas, freezing rain and amazing sunsets, moments of intense loneliness and support around every corner. And I am going to take the next step on my journey by 'throwing myself out of the nest' and taking a leave from Palo Alto Unified as of June. I will become a full-time education and communications consultant. It's time. I know the decision was the right one as I am feeling more 'me' every day.
As I make this transition, I am learning about the act of leaving and that's the focus of this month's newsletter.
If you have any questions, comments or topic suggestions, please feel free to email me at Jennifer@jenniferabrams.com. I look forward to hearing from you!
Learning About Leaving
Don't Run Away From Something, Move Toward Something Else
Everybody says this and they are right. Become a Rogerian psychologist and frame the choice as moving towards a desired state vs. running away from an existing state that isn't working. I know - easier said than done. There is such a drain on your energy if you are living in the "I gotta get away from this" place and so much more the world can do to help you if you declare, "This is what I want to become." Live in the potential, not in the regret.
Chances Are Giving Notice Isn't Anything Like You Expected
I was worried. What would they say? How might I respond? Would they be supportive or suspicious? Self-absorbed or sympathetic? Would I cry? Would I need to defend myself? Would people tell me I couldn't do it? What should I wear? J It turns out, at least for me, the telling was a non-event. Once you have made a decision and you are in your power, congruent in mind and spirit, the sharing of your choice might just be a non-event. Decision acknowledged. Paperwork from HR will follow. The real challenge is to make the decision. Then, others can acknowledge it. Some might even appreciate your clarity and life choice. The best of them can celebrate with you.
If They Don't Ask for an Exit Interview, Don't Give One
Best advice I received. We all have a lot of ideas for our organizations. What could be different. What would be better. Unless anyone truly asks you for those ideas, keep them to yourself and use those ideas in your next piece of work. Be extraordinarily conscientious about how you share your thoughts and say your goodbyes. If I may be so explicit, do not 'throw it all up' on your way out the door. Buy your friends dinner and a martini and talk to them. Then leave that all behind and toast to who you are becoming!
This is what is my bookshelf this month to support my work in international schools, and around issues of equity, hard conversations and generational savvy.
Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds by David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken "With a significant part of their developmental years spent outside their passport country, TCKs create their own unique "third" cultures. This expanded edition widens the net to discuss the experiences of CCKs, cross-cultural kids, who are immigrants, international adoptees or the children of biracial or bicultural parents."
Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson "Backed by years of research...[this book] offers a fascinating explanation of self-deception – how it works, the harm it can cause, and how we can overcome it."
Shock of Gray: The aging of the world's population and how it pits young against old, child against parent, worker against boss, company against rival, and nation against nation by Ted C. Fishman Review on the back states, "Ted Fishman's exciting book – a series of stories really – knocked me off balance as I learned what's in store for us as the world's populace grows older and older."
Each month I will share with you information about a few of my upcoming trainings.
If I am going to be in your area, contact me so we can say hello, hopefully in person!
Being Generationally Savvy
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
San Francisco, CA
Creating Identity Safe Classrooms
Equity and Inclusivity Symposium Keynote Speaker
York Region District School Board
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
March 30 - April 1
Having Hard Conversations
Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board
Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board &
Limestone District School Board Tri-Board Learning Session
Napanee, Ontario, Canada
Counselors, Psychologists, SLPs, RSPs & EL Specialists
Palo Alto Unified School District
Palo Alto, CA
For additional upcoming events, please visit my Web site.
Until next time,
Feel free to forward this newsletter to friends and colleague. You may reprint this newsletter in whole or quote with attribution to Jennifer Abrams and a link to www.jenniferabrams.com