Leaders, visionaries, and dreamers help to define the future. They dare to take calculated, sensible risks. Joyce Valenza is one such daring individual. In her blog at School Library Journal, she writes:
Power has been shifting in nearly every profession. In ours, it has turned head over heels. Over the past two years the information and communication landscapes, as we once knew them, have changed. We have new sources, new options.
She then lists her daring bullet points on how libraries can can remain relevant. And she concludes by throwing down the gauntlet—
Because we are out west, I am thinking more like a pioneer.
If you are going to be leading you have to be at the head of wagons.
You can’t be stuck in the back pushing.
You have to climb up ahead to the summit.
You have to look around.
You have to imagine what’s ahead..You can’t lead if you are stuck in the mud
I want teacher-librarians to lead the learning wagon train.
We cannot wait for the research to tell us this risk-taking, this playful authentic learning is good.
The number one theme that comes from her rant is “learning is superior to stuff.” Now my question: those of us charged with 21C education leadership, do we dare to be more defined by our devotion to learning or our devotion to stuff?
Simplified, how much stuff is on your desk and in your closet versus how many students and teachers will you work with today in innovative ways that inspire and support relevant teaching and learning?