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Episode from the podcastLead. Learn. Change.

In a Moment - Collaboration. Optimism. Vision. Inspiration. Dedication.

Released Friday, 27th March 2020
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In a Moment - Collaboration. Optimism. Vision. Inspiration. Dedication.

Recent events have upended daily routines, financial markets, and life in general. 

Changes of great magnitude occur from time to time. When there is no hint that a significant problem is imminent, and when the specifics of one’s circumstances are being experienced for the very first time, the lack of preparation-especially in a world where instant feedback and resolutions are sometimes viewed as the norm-can be disconcerting or even frightening.

How should we respond to such change?

What should we learn from what is going on around us?

How do we lead in the face of uncertainty?

Not by creating Confusion.

Not through Overreaction.

Not via Vague messages.

Not as Irrational decision makers.

And certainly not by Division.

Instead, we Collaborate to make the best of a situation.

We adopt and act on an Optimistic outlook.

We share our Vision about a positive tomorrow. 

We Inspire by unleashing the creativity of others. 

We remain Dedicated to our mission. 

The organization in which I work, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE), is viewing the current events swirling around us through a lens of opportunity. While we are taking seriously the threats posed to various aspects of life as we currently know it, we also believe that this season will pass. And, we believe that great educators will mitigate the difficult aspects of this unprecedented change, and that they will continue to demonstrate leadership, via their ongoing commitment to teaching and learning.

Toward that end, it is a privilege to share with you a brief overview of a decision that PAGE made in the past few days. It serves as a solid example of how a future-oriented approach can make a difference for many people.With schools closed, and with some of our organization’s work impacted by these closures, the flexible use of resources has emerged as one means of leveraging current events in a positive way. We should all be asking ourselves right now, “What resources might I use–in a way not previously considered–that might help someone else?”

PAGE moved swiftly and crafted an opportunity for PAGE members to apply for grants to support teaching and learning. During the current and immediate shift towards virtual platforms, educators are seeking out ways to enhance their skill set and are looking for resources that can directly benefit students. PAGE’s educator grants were developed to reinforce these needs.

In the first 60 minutes after the grant application notification was distributed to our educator members, over 200 applications were received. That’s an application every eighteen seconds! Eighty-two percent of the applicants were classroom teachers and the overwhelming majority of the grant requests will directly benefit students!

Clearly, Georgia’s great educators are not resting. They are eager to provide learning experiences for their students. In the last two weeks, I have had the privilege of engaging in conversations with some Georgia educators as well, via video conferencing tools. Those discussions reinforced the notion that great teachers are viewing this time as a learning opportunity. Teachers are exploring ways to make online interactions­–with people and with content–as meaningful as possible.

I am proud to work with an organization that stays true to its purpose, taking full advantage of every opportunity to support educators, all in the service of learning. I am also honored to be acquainted with many dedicated professionals who commit their careers and their lives to making sure that young people have every chance possible to be successful, and to be prepared for whatever is next.

It is important to view every moment as an opportunity to make a difference.

Change happens in a moment. 

Learning can happen in the moment.

Leadership can make or break the moment.

Podcast cover art for Lead. Learn. Change. is a view from Brunnkogel (mountaintop) over the mountains of the Salzkammergut in Austria, courtesy of photographer Simon Berger, published on www.unsplash.com.