Friday, October 9, 2015

What scares you? #cuerockstar admin #pinchme

Lucas Valley - Marin County

This was the view from Skywalker Ranch. Wow, just wow. Although the fields are more brown now, the view is no less spectacular looking back. Pinch me.

The first day, I found Yoda. Snapping a selfie, it was later pointed out to me that Yoda had poop on his head. Whatever. It's Yoda! And I was a happy girl. 

image credit
This quote is one of my favorites- in fact I love it so much that I bought a shirt with it, and it's a quote I live by. It's not that I love living in a state of being scared, but I do think that in order to grow we need to do things on a regular basis that push us out of our comfort zone. I live in that zone a lot. Why? Watch this.

Did you hear her voice at the beginning? Sheer TERROR. Scary. Doubt. Fear. All of it. And she skis anyways. 

Did you hear her voice at the end? AWESOME! Ready to go again. 

Enter me. At Skywalker Ranch. Part of THIS team.

I felt like that girl, at the top of the ski jump, seriously. Scared to death. Nervous. I couldn't eat the morning of the first day as I tried to figure out how I had arrived there- pinch me. Don't get me wrong, I love to lead, I love to teach. Every day I want schools, teachers, and school leaders to be the best they can be for kids. I couldn't wait to start day one. And I was TERRIFIED. 

The morning began in the theater- I wish I had a good picture, but photos weren't allowed inside, really. Here is one of some dancing happening the last day that will give you a glimpse of the inside. Amazing.

The first day we kicked off the morning by introducing ourselves and describing our own Hero's Journey-- inspired by this video.

I struggled with this a lot- and although I understood the concept of the journey, I had a difficult time figuring out where I was exactly on that path. Instead of finding one spot in Joseph Campbell's image, I described my own journey from the ordinary world to the special world I now inhabit as Principal of Star Academy, an elementary school in Sacramento. I stepped up to the front and started to speak. Later, friends would tell me I sounded nervous, that my voice was breaking.

Yes, yes it was. My heart was pounding. I saw no one out in the crowd. I remember very little. 

Terrifying, yes. Would I do it again? 

In a heartbeat.

I wonder sometimes if someone out there in the crowd is thinking they could never get up in front of teachers or colleagues. And then, they hear me, shaky voice and all. What if just one person walks away thinking they might be willing to try

Sometimes things are scary. And worth it. Isn't this what we want teachers to do? And kids? And so, I go first.

People always ask why I get nervous. I lead professional development a lot; I should be used to it. It IS getting easier. I wish I was that calm, cool, and collected girl. But it still scares me every time. This time, I was in front of an audience I rarely see- school leaders, superintendents, directors, and was part of a faculty I deeply admire and aspire to be like. 

Check out the lineup below. Pinch me.

Truly, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how I got here.  It was surreal to be a part of this team-- I'm inspired daily by these guys!

After the morning opening, we headed off to our sessions, and I found myself in a more comfortable space and leading a session on blogging. Of course, people always have this to say about blogging...

And off we went. People with nothing to say dove into the session, and started blogs! YES!

Here are a few tweets (and not all) from some of the new bloggers! Some started blogs for their school, others started blogs to communicate with their staff. Jeff Kubiak was even getting some encouragement from Twitter! Here's a picture, although blurry, of us during our blog sesh!

Ultimately, I discovered that this Joseph Campbell quote is true- and that embracing that thing that TERRIFIES us is a good thing. Being part of the CUE Rockstar Admin camp was super scary. The camp sold out  in two days and expectations were high. Were there times I doubted myself for saying yes and being part of it? Absolutely. Would I do it again? YES! Did I learn something even though I didn't attend a single session? 

I did.

And that's the magic of any Rockstar event. The smartest person in the room is the room. What an incredible three days spent learning and connecting with 80 passionate, forward-thinking, student-centered leaders!

Inspired, I am!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Todd for reading! Hope to see you soon!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Good read. Kind of think that fear is a healthy part of the process.Cameron Paterson once suggested that the most important thing that we can do is to find someone who scares up. Not in that authoritarian way, but that they do things that seem so awesome that we can't help but feel intimidated. It is there that we need to start. To drive us forward I guess, on our own hero journey.

    1. I love that thought! Being scared and doing it anyways :) Have a great day and thanks for reading my post!

  3. You are such a good model for transparency. Even though I get up in front of groups for a living, I still blush every single time I start speaking. It's scary to put yourself out there in front of others, but so much learning happens for me when I do!! Inspired, I am by you!

    1. Thanks, Sally! So happy to know another person who shares this fear. So many people seem so cool up there! You inspire me!

  4. You rule JK! Think of you often and love to read your inspiring work!!!! Thanks for being you and helping me face MY fears.

    1. Hi Jeff! So happy to have met you at Skywalker Ranch! It's funny how our paths cross! I'm totally loving your blog posts and your RAD energy! You rock. Have a great day!