Clean Slate – is there such a thing?

Earlier this week I had the chance to collaborate with a like-minded colleague who I co-lead a PYP workshop with me. It was rewarding to bounce ideas off a colleague whom I could learn from and push my thinking forward about many issues ranging from the PYP enhancements, Indian food in Berlin and the idea of whether or not human beings enter the world with pre-existing idiosyncracies or clean slates. It was a lovely way to end a Summer of living vicariously through other educators via their posts from conferences they attended across the globe, of admiring photos shared by teachers on their hard-earned holidays, and of conversations I had with my colleagues in my PLN who seemed more active than usual over the northern hemisphere Summers (especially on Twitter – if you don’t have a Twitter account, as an educator, you really should).

Tonight is the night before going back to work after a busy Summer. New teachers and school leaders started last week to assist new colleagues in finding their way around our school systems, curricula and the essentials of moving to a new city. Tomorrow faculty return for a week of in-service and I begin a new role as a whole school Professional Learning and Development Coordinator. It will be in a school where I will enter my 13th year at the same institution, starting a 5th job role. With this many re-inventions in the same school I wonder how it will begin. Will I enter a clean slate, and does such a thing even exist?

I know I have previously established relationships with colleagues, institutional knowledge, experience from different job roles and expertise I have shared with educators across the globe in my role as a PYP workshop leader, school visitor and concept-based learning consultant. I look forward to being a more integral part of the school I have been working on and off in since 2005. I also look forward to drawing on my prior knowledge, making connections and reflecting with colleagues to engage in conversations that I hope will support them, contribute to their learning and enhance their current practices.

As I think about all of this before a night of what is sure to be excited restlessness, I wonder if, in my new role, a clean slate is possible or even desired. I get an inkling feeling that I am not really after a clean slate. I look forward to reinventing my own. Wish me luck!

black and white blackboard business chalkboard
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