I truly did not understand at first why so many others saw a battlefield of deadly traps instead of a wonderland. And that was often my kryptonite; it's nearly impossible to work with someone when you fail to observe their needs, feelings, or perceptions.
Thus, the past five years have been a journey in educating myself in empathy and observation. And from that has developed a deeper commitment to celebrating not just my own learning, but the triumphs of my colleagues as they battle through their discomfort in the face of change, challenge, and new choices.
Lasting innovation becomes a reality when that educator in your building who fears social media finally lets her students use their phones in class to post their work on an Instagram account. Or when that stalwart "stand-and-deliver" lecturer next door finally trusts the students in her room to learn for themselves through a project-based assessment. Or when that veteran tech-opposed administrator finally uses Twitter to shout out the work of the teachers in her building. Lasting innovation is in the hands of ALL of us. And we owe it to our students to set aside our nerves and join them as learners side-by-side.