Last week my husband and I were blessed to be able to escape to Cabo for a week. We had an AMAZING vacation! While we were there we "unplugged" from our daily lives; however, we plugged in to our environment. We certainly enjoyed some rest and relaxation, but we also engaged in lots of conversations with those around us and participated in various fun activities led by the resort staff. It wasn't until we were on the flight home that I was struck by an Aha! moment: There were people from all over the world staying at our resort, but we were all united as one resort family. When we walked by others, eye contact was made, greetings exchanged, and conversations took place amongst perfect strangers.
Other than the beautiful scenery, what brought us together? It started with the resort's activities staff. They quickly learned the names of and a little about the guests who were staying at the resort. Then, when it was time for an activity, they first created a comfortable environment where guests felt safe trying something new like water polo or karaoke. The activity staff were essentially the leaders of the resort. In the world of education we can certainly learn from and implement this style of leadership, starting with getting to know those we serve (teachers, students, parents, etc.) and creating a safe environment for teachers to take risks in their classrooms. In everyday life we can apply the "resort mentality" by "plugging in" to our surroundings and not our devices; taking the time to make eye contact and taking risks to have conversations with those we don't know. This week as I returned back to work and attended a technology conference held over an hour away from my home, I tried out this resort mentality and initiated conversations with other educators (complete strangers - gasp!). It was well worth the risk as I met some amazing people! Take the resort approach in your life and reach out to others virtually and face to face. You'll be glad you did!
I started this Adventures and Gadgets blog back in 2008 and only updated it periodically through the summer of 2010. However, I am currently reading Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times by Eric Sheninger and I am inspired to try my hand at blogging again. So while all posts prior to this one are old and random, I hope to post on a more consistent basis from this point forward. It's time to get back in the blogging saddle!