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  • shelhusk

All good things...

...must come to an end. I have one week left as a current Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, at which time, I will become an alumni. This has been such an extraordinary, life-changing opportunity and I am ever so grateful for all that have supported me these 11 months. Yesterday, we had our last official presentations. We had to present in the format of an Ignite talk. It's a 5 minute talk with 20 slides set to automatically move to the next slide every 15 seconds. It's not easy to cram this experience into a 5 minute presentation but it was incredible to see how each fellow managed to tell full narratives about their experience. I focused my presentation on lessons I have learned, both as a person and an educator.

  • Be Persistant: If something knocks you down, (like a trumpeter swan just 20 miles into the move to DC), you have to pick your self up, get a new windshield and get back in the car to try again.

  • Be in Awe: Appreciate the opportunities given to you. This was my view every day going to work.

  • Have a Vision: As a young man, Jim Henson wanted to work in TV. The local station was looking for someone to work puppets, something Jim knew nothing about. So he used the opportunity to learn about puppets and the world has been forever changed.

  • Use Your Voice: This blog has allowed me to use my voice while reflecting on education. I am grateful that many of you have followed me and commented on my reflections. My plan will be to continue this blog, but maybe once a month instead of once a week :)

  • Be at the Table: You can't make a change unless you are at the table. Make sure to find ways to get your seat and don't take no for an answer.

  • Find Courage: Find the courage to do things that are hard.

  • Grow: Like my Einstein begonia, I have been given the support and time to grow as a person, educator and an advocate for teachers.

  • Celebrate Talent: It was a privilege to see so many talented performers on the stage at the Kennedy Center for the Arts. When we celebrate and surround ourselves with talent, we become better ourselves.

  • Celebrate Diversity: We are all better when everyone has the same opportunities.

  • Embrace Beauty: Take time to smell the cherry blossoms...and do things that fill your soul.

  • Dream Big: Never be afraid to dream big. You might end up feet from the Artemis II astronauts!

  • Corn: Thanks to Jackie (Library of Congress Fellow), corn became a running gag this year. It provided a constant source of laughter, especially when we discovered someone wrote an entire musical about corn!

  • Build a Legacy: Despite the awful end to my time at West Fargo HS, I am very proud of the legacy I have left there. Good leaders leave a legacy that can carry on without them like the celebrated Cardboard Boat Regatta.

  • Support Others: Because of the great support I received from my Congressman and my office, I was able to help support others.

  • Embrace Culture: I was lucky enough to learn about the Hawaiian culture while attending a conference with a dear friend. We are better when we learn about different cultures.

  • Be Creative: Pixar is a excellent example of the integration of creativity and technology.

  • Be the Crazy Ones: We were all certifiable to leave everything to spend 11 months in Washington, DC have no idea what we would be doing. But it's the crazy ones who push us forward. The ones crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

  • Be Joyous: The pandemic has taken joy out of the classroom. Teachers need to bring it back for themselves and their students. District administration needs to support teachers in this endeavor instead of pushing unnecessary initiatives.

  • Embrace Family: I could not have done this without my Einstein family. These people have listened, supported, cried and laughed with me. I am forever positively changed because of this group. Thank you!

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