…but what they didn’t say is that it would be lonely.

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Let me first say, all is well. I’m good. And I feel loved and supported, and in addition to a partner who treats me better than I usually deserve, I am employed, in a great doctoral program, and have a crew of people in my life who shower me with unconditional love.

That being said, 2017 has been really tough.

This PhD journey has been really tough.

I am one full year into my doctoral studies, and at two different points I almost gave up. Dramatically, I drafted two unsent emails to my advisor, throwing in the towel and apologizing for wasting her time. The first draft was written my third week of class, when impostor syndrome had set in and I was deep in the darkness of, “I don’t think I belong here.” I fell into the comparison trap, and was set off by the most trivial moments.

The second unsent email was drafted the Friday following Donald Trump’s electoral college win, and later revised when he nominated (and elected officials confirmed) Betsy DeVos as US Secretary of Education. If Secretary DeVos did not need a PhD to do her job, why did I?

Of course, neither email was sent, and both times I was left wondering if any of it would actually be worth it. Would the PhD be worth it?

Would it be worth me leaving full-time work (and pay) for a few years?
Would it be worth the hours of reading each day?
Would it be worth the unhealthy intake of coffee and ginger ale?
Would it be worth the 20lbs I gained?

Upon reflection and consultation, I learned these feelings were not uncommon. I found a community of other doctoral students who shared many of these same sentiments. My unsent resignation emails became a benchmark for Year 1 learning. It can only go up from here, right? I soon realized it wasn’t so much that I wasn’t cut out for this program (though, the verdict feels, at times, unresolved), it was that transition, in general, is hard. This transition, specifically, was hard.

This ongoing transition, is very, very hard.

And during this time of uncertainty, my brain will often do tricks on me that I never thought possible. I question my intelligence, my energy, my capacity. Phone calls and texts go unanswered, and the stories I tell myself lean more toward destructive than they do productive. But again, I am not alone, and (unsettlingly) there are many others who feel this same level of dissonance.

Now days away from starting Year 2, I am left contemplating what might exist in the next twelve months of studies.

In an attempt to help ease students’ transition to graduate school, a colleague recently posted on twitter, requesting a series of perspectives on what advice different folx wish they had before their first year of pursuing a PhD. I immediately responded with a practical perspective about the dissertation, something I truly wish I had understood before enduring several months of self-sabatoge. But after responding, I couldn’t stop thinking about an even deeper “wish” I had in relation to those starting the PhD experience, something that contributed to a lot of my discomfort.

Something that went beyond the first-year transition.

Something that went beyond impostor syndrome and the comparison trap.

My ‘ah-ha’ was that this experience is really isolating. 

Being a PhD student is incredibly isolating.

One of the toughest burdens of this doctoral journey has actually been the heavy pain of feeling alone – the countless hours of reading, writing, commuting to/from campus, and “waiting” for the next thing has all been really draining. As a strong E-Extrovert, I didn’t anticipate the amount of time I would be physically and emotionally flying solo.

And as I prepare for Year 2, I’m trying to make a conscious plan so I can avoid this feeling of isolation…a feeling many other graduate students feel, wade through, and fight on a daily, yearly basis. I believe I “survived” Year 1 because of my partner and community of friends and colleagues who love and support me despite the gymnastics in my brain. And still, I’m here, at the edge of Year 2, eager, and terrified.

Hopeful. Cautious.

Cautiously optimistic.

I am here for a reason. And despite the pressure I put on myself, and despite the hours and days of feeling completely solo, and despite the missed phone calls and unchecked emails, I truly believe there is an absolute reason that I am here, pressing on, and making this work. I don’t know what exists in this next year – personally or professionally – but I do know I can do this. And that, despite what my brain is telling me, I am not alone. I am worthy. I matter. This matters.

Simple reminders,

Michael

“International Investigations in Cuban Education”

When I started my PhD last fall, I never imagined I would spend nine days in Cuba with two-dozen graduate students, conducting research, and meeting with colleagues and schools in the Cuban education system. As I continue to think critically about education in the US, I have to be aware of how education exists in other cultures and contexts. And this is what lead me to apply for the opportunity to study abroad.

If we truly care about education, the status of students (of all types), the future of our systems, and how globalization shows up in classrooms and schools, we have to consider our individual and personal contributions to advancing knowledge within the field. And so, “International Investigations in Cuban Education,” commenced.

And as I entered that space of learning and seeking knowledge, I quickly realized I didn’t know all that much about Cuba.

“Elián González. Old cars. Guantanamo Bay. Fidel Castro.”

When asked about my knowledge of Cuba before this trip, these points represented my low level of understanding. Furthermore, before this trip, I knew virtually nothing about Cuba’s education system. I grew up with peripheral perspectives, but never developed my own, formal and concrete version of what I knew Cuba to be versus what I had heard from others.

As a result of this opportunity, my colleagues and I were granted the privilege of great access to Cuban schools and educators. We spent a substantial amount of time before the trip reading and reflecting on the history of Cuba, the dark connections to the United States, and the reality of a free-to-all education system that exits from preschool to graduate higher education. Although brief, we got a small glimpse into a system of schooling that was unknown to most everyone on the trip.

“But what did you do,” you might be wondering? To synthesize some highlights, and connect to my desire to keep pursuing context and knowledge, the following thoughts and photos best capture my time on the island.

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School Visits
While we had opportunities to tour, our primary responsibility was to conduct independent research on various components of Cuban education. Curious about campus environments and institution types, my study looked at the differences between one primary school and one university in Holguín Province. Over the course of three days, I had the opportunity to visit each school, and found incredible similarities between the two. Art and colorful paintings were found throughout each school, and adorned classroom walls and outdoor spaces. Gathering areas transcended from inside to outside, and historical figures were well-represented across both environments. There was no shortage of historical understanding or national pride. Natural air flowed through classrooms, breezeways, and open areas, and the warm climate felt less severe as a result of this design. We also got to experience break time, which we might identify as, “recess,” in the US. I don’t think I stopped smiling during that 40-minute break. Kids of all ages were running, dancing, singing, laughing, and engaging with their teachers and friends. This outside and common space that was so still just moments before the bell rang had become a concrete playground of joy and engagement.

Meetings with Educators
In addition to visiting schools, my colleagues and I had the opportunity to meet with scholars, researchers, and teachers from various Cuban institutions and pedagogies. We had long discussions about the differences in our schooling, and always connected back to the reality that a student-centered framework can  make a huge difference in the way we approach education. “Didactics” existed as a continued theme in our conversations, and the educators shared the ways in which this philosophy showed up as an art form rather than a style of teaching. The spirit and passion for teaching and learning was a big part of their approach. The biggest highlight from these sessions came from one of our final conversations, when the educators asked each of us US representatives to share more about our personal research agenda. This was the first time on the trip that I was asked to explain my interest in parent/family programs in education. With the reliance on a translator to articulate my idea, I had to be very intentional and succinct with how I explained my interest in investigating the exclusionary nature of these types of campus traditions. As I explained that we have many students who show up in education spaces without parents and families, I instantly felt a response that this, too, appears in Cuban spaces as well. My colleague who was translating looked at me and said, “They really appreciate your topic.” This was a validating moment, as I had just spent the past semester trying to better understand how to explain my topic, and questioned how to move toward a more thoughtful research strategy.

Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos
I hate to let Donald Trump rain on my Cuba parade, but alas, he has. And DeVos, too. If you follow me on any form of social media, you know that I have an incredibly strong opinion of DeVos and her dangerous and inexperienced approach to schooling in the US. And as much as I wanted to leave Trump and DeVos back in the US, while I was in Cuba, they continued to be a topic of conversation again and again. Outside of questions and general assumptions, Cuban scholars were well-aware of our current reality in education. They were aware of our shared questions and concerns. They were away of every tweet, and the impact future decisions can have on our country, and the countries around us. But there is power in sharing ideas and perspectives. We were in Cuba on an education exchange, but I would be remised if I did not admit that this exchange was very one-sided. You see, there weren’t (aren’t) 30 Cuban educators headed to the United States to engage in the same critical discussions as we were having. One US colleague stated in his closing speech, “The Trump administration can’t stop the momentum we have here,” and I am letting that idea guide much of my thinking as I continue to seek information, unearth new knowledge, and teach and educate those around me.

I also must acknowledge that Cuba is not perfect. And while we had a close glimpse at some of the educational entities in Cuba, we had limited time to understand and unpack the economic and social struggles that exist outside of the education system (and even some that exist inside the education system). We are not perfect either.

There can be an unsettling feeling when critically analyzing our education system in the US, especially when considering the complex nature of k-12, higher education, and all that exists between (even when simply starting with public and private differences). In Cuba, we heard, “Education is a human right,” again and again, and much of that was backed up by the literacy campaigns that existed following the revolution. With more time, I might be able to spot the inconsistencies in that mantra, though in the meantime, I feel as if in the US, we are moving away from that belief.

Do we really value education as a human right?

Are children really valued citizens, and how serious do we take their learning?

Do we take their learning serious?

Before applying to this program, I never would have imagined an opportunity like this, meeting university and education association presidents, school principals, and top scholars in Cuban education. The opportunity to engage and reflect is part of what made my time in Cuba that much more special. And the opportunity to see past what I always understood as Cuba has helped me better understand how I show up in spaces where gaps exist on others’ path to understanding.

In closing, one US colleague challenged each participant to make a commitment to “what comes next” after Cuba. If we want exchanges and experiences to be truly transformative and informational, we have to commit to life-long learning and growing, and to a reframe the idea that perfection exists without considering culture, history, and social context. Even as we ventured away from the country, we heard counter-narratives contradicting all that we had learned and began to understand. The shift became present. The balance became important.

We learned. And we are beginning and continuing to understand. As I reflect on this reality, I am thankful that the process, in this case, has become the product.

I commit,

Michael

Sometimes it’s not about you(r finals).

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I’ve been struggling for a few weeks to write this post. While much of my interest in advocating for students around holidays and breaks comes from my belief in equity for every student, it is also very much drenched in my own personal experiences as a student many years ago…and again, as a student today.

Over the next two weeks, campuses will post, “Good Luck,” messages to students, and finals hours will become the new norm across the country.

Anxiety, too, will become a new (or revisited) norm for many.

As final presentations and papers are soon to be due, student anxiety will increase over the next few weeks. I have even found my own anxiety increasing since just before Thanksgiving. There was always something unsettling about the end of a semester for me. After my teenage years, holidays were rarely a pleasant experience. Through college and even after, I spent many Thanksgivings and winter breaks solo, or with friends (and/or their families). Wrapping up the semester, checking boxes for completed assignments, juggling un/wanted feedback, and gearing up for break, the end of the semester can become a nightmare of personal stress.

As I sit to write this post, the message that keeps running through my head is a plea to educators, “Please be patient with your students.”

Please be patient with your students.

The stress and anxiety associated with this time of year are not completely about final projects, tests, papers, and presentations. In addition to gearing up for the semester’s final stretch, some students’ stress comes from anticipating holidays and winter break. Much like Thanksgiving, winter break can be tough on many; some even without a place to go.

A few months ago I had the privilege of keynoting a conference in southern Indiana, and midway through my keynote, I shared with the audience that each semester I take time to use my voice on social media, advocating for those students who might be feeling some type of dissonance around this time of year – dissonance that exists beyond the expectation of “finals.” It wasn’t until recent that I associated these two anxieties with one another: the stress of finals + the stress of anticipating break.

Juggling my own anxiety this time of year (first semester doctoral student, and all of that), this has become much more clear to me

What can we do?
How do we best support students during this time?

First, ask questions and support students who you know aren’t thrilled about the next month of non-school instability. Consider the ones you don’t already know about who might feel this way. Connect your students to resources on campus and in the community, and remind them that they are worthy and loved. For some schools, it’s an on-call counselor, for other schools, it’s the student affairs staff who will take shifts. In some communities, it’s a counselor or social worker, or shelter or youth house.

Next, fight like hell for your students. If a residence hall or cafeteria closes for break on your campus, completely or with no alternative (OR is unreasonably expensive), speak up! If you fear for a student’s safety, speak up! Engage your staff, supervisor, or classmates, and establish a plan to challenge the system that is leaving students behind. Don’t simply send students away assuming, “it’ll all be okay.” Sometimes, it’s not okay. And sometimes, student are left in their cars, bunking up with ten others in a hotel room, spending thousands to get “home” for a few weeks, or heading “home” to a place that is not accepting, embracing, or safe.

Share hotline information (Trevor Project), or campus support numbers (again, the on-call counselor or counseling center staff). Draft a calendar of events with your student/s, help them see the whole break at a glance, giving them things to do or accomplish over the course of their time away from school. Simply listen to them. Some may not feel as pressed as others about going home, yet still remain anxious. A listening space will help them externally process (and anticipate) what might exist ahead.

Finally, instead of a “good job” on completing finals or projects, a simple, “I’m here for you as you go into the break,” could make all the difference. In fact, in some contexts, it might be exactly what they need.

Educators, teachers, faculty/staff, and beyond, as you take on these final weeks of the semester, please consider the students who are carrying much more than the load of your coursework. Trust me, it might not be about you(r finals).

Anxious, as well,

Michael

Honoring Parentless Students

*video filmed by ACPA – College Student Educators International, via ACPA Social Media

I attended a conference last week where I had the privilege to present a PechaKucha (powered by ACPA) on a topic I care about deeply.

“Honoring Parentless Students”

PechaKucha is, as as you discovered in the introduction to the video, a presentation where an individual talks alongside 20 images and slides, each turning automatically every 20 seconds. 20×20. According to PechaKucha, this presentation format was created by two architects, and initially as a result of the belief that architects talk too much! As a person with an undergraduate degree in communication, I would agree that most people talk too much when given an unrestricted set of PowerPoint slides.

And so, PechaKucha.

Aside from a space to tell a few stories (though, if given the time, I have dozens more related to this topic), I also took the opportunity to share some very personal reflections I have regarding the changing reality of how parents and families show up in education – and specifically, how the concept of parents and families show up in my own life. The landscape is changing.

And this should be no surprise. Over the past twenty years (arguably more), the landscape of families & non-families has changed significantly, and we should all be pausing to consider how parenting structures appear or don’t appear as it relates to children and college-age students. We should all consider adjusting our practice.

For example, “Mom’s Day,” or, “Dad’s Weekend,” The Office of Parent Programs, parent orientation, better funded opportunities for stateside families without including international students, letters home to, “Mr/s.,” or the plural of parent (“To the parents of…”) – these all come to mind, and knowing the list goes on and on.

So, what do we do, you might be wondering?

Furthermore, how do we support students who may not have the family or parenting structure that many of our programs assume? What about those triggered by these programs, or those left out by the simple mission of these traditions? How do we simply pause and honor someone’s actual, lived experience on their campus?

Aside from my hope and plan to research this very topic someday, for starters, you can evaluate your current practices and programs. Challenge exclusive norms, engage your alumni, program around the changing reality of families and students, and include those chosen-family friends and community members who may be supporting an individual just as much, if not more, than any relative could provide. Examine your school’s statistics and build bridges to colleagues across campus. Empower authenticity.

Next, be insistent. Pull students in to help you change the culture of your exclusive programs and traditions. Ask students frequently, “Who are we leaving behind?” “How can we edit or enhance the way we support all students?” “In what ways does [this program] exist as an exclusive body of opportunity for some more than others?”

Help students garner courage as they navigate these ongoing murky waters. Jump in those waters with them. And as you swim (or float or tread or splash) in those waters, invite others to jump in, too. What is not changing on our campuses is that students are showing up – how they show up, and with or without  whom, is, however, truly evolving.

And in honor of this evolution, I hope this will inform your practice.

Pausing,

Michael

DSC01252.JPG*photo provided by Idriss Njike (UCLA), co-host of PechaKucha, powered by ACPA

Retired Extrovert Does Conference Season

I’m going to lean into vulnerability for just a moment.

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Earlier today, I boarded a plane and took a deep breath. I knew that, as soon as I landed in Montréal, I would be hit by a wave of insecurities, anxiety, and fear. You should know, despite initially coming off as comfortable and confident in conference and large-group settings, I am actually typically living in a constant state of fear.

The anxiety is real. The fear of unpredictability is raw.

It wasn’t until I ran into an old friend from a job I held before graduate school that I realized this feeling was actually something others experience as well. In a sea of thousands of people, it’s not abnormal to experience this dissonance.

I received some needed peace in that quick conversation.

Night One of this current conference experience: I find myself nervous that everyone else came with someone else, and that capacity is limited. Even with thousands of attendees, conferences can be some of the loneliest spaces for young/professionals. Even with thousands of attendees, conferences can be scary oceans with every type of fish imaginable – feeling like the tiniest and most fragile fish in the sea is a heavy burden. As a reformed-extrovert living in a nervous state-of-mind, I’m forcing myself to swim. Swim fast. Swim intentionally. Just swim.

Tomorrow is a new day, and today is not yet over. Here’s to schedules and programs, here’s to structure. Here’s to confidence.

Swimming,

Michael

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#ACPA16 in Canada – excited for the learning ahead! 

“We proudly brew Starbucks coffee,” and Other Arguments for Enhancing Equity

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I went to a movie a few weeks ago, and when it came time to empty my wallet on refreshments, I saw a sign to the left of the concession stand that read, “We Proudly Serve [Starbucks logo].” Of course, my tolerance for late night movies has decreased significantly, and in that moment, coffee seemed like the best option to aid me in getting through any post-8:00PM obligation.

I purchased said-Starbucks coffee, mixed in my coffee fixins, and took a sip before leaving the concession area. Before I could swallow the mouthful of lukewarm coffee, with a disgusted look, I glared at the concessions attendant as he gave me a, “My bad,” shrug.

“It’s, Starbucks-ish,” he laughed.

The shrug continued as I walked away, enduring the movie with my Starbucks-ish.

“We proudly serve *Starbucks coffee.”
*Starbucks-ish

We do this a lot.

We accept the, “-ish.”

In many ways, this is an, “espoused versus enacted,” moment. This is about congruence (are you doing what you say you’ll be doing, and all of that).

I worked professionally with fraternities and sororities for several years, and continue to do so as a consultant and facilitator. This idea of congruence is a big piece of the conversation, and continues to disrupt what we believe about values and values alignment. In fact, many of The North-American Interfraternity Conference programs coin this concept as, “Values are what you do.

For the most part, I agree.

And while this post goes beyond fraternities and sororities, it’s important to understand this simple philosophy. The philosophy of doing.

Let’s go back to the concession stand moment I experienced a few weeks ago. The theater had a Starbucks sign. Cups. Social capital. In theory, this was a perfect combination of what I think I needed (wanted) from the sign that beautifully read, “We Proudly Serve [logo].” Ish. We do this a lot. We accept the, “-ish.”

And specifically, we accept the, “-ish,” as it relates to equity.

Pieces were missing from my movie Starbucks. I experienced Starbucks-adjacent. And when I think about equity within companies, schools, organizations, etc., I see a lot of equity-adjacent outcomes. Equity as a value must be what you do.

And it goes beyond a quick fix. 

“We’ll have a speaker.”

“We’ll have a program.”

“We’ll have a unity barbecue.”

“We’ll hire a Diversity Director.”

“We’ll giggle when someone says, ‘Bye, Felicia!'”

Some, indeed, have the right resources: the books, the materials, the buy-in, the marketable labels. However, if you’re not brewing the real stuff (see what I did there?), and if you’re not actually living and doing in a space of integrating these values, it will play out as values-adjacent rather than values-enacted.

Folks, hiring a diversity officer may help reach more students, however it alone will not address your diversity, equity, and justice problems.

Do you value equity (+diversity, social justice, inclusion) as a lived part of your organization, school, or company, or do you simply honor it as a box to check?

Often, schools and companies will hire a person to, “lead diversity initiatives,” without actually infusing diversity and equity into the very DNA of their organization. This edit is essential, and will make for a better and more inclusive inclusion strategy. You may have the sign, the cup, and the belief, but do you have the action to support the spirit of what these pieces can create together?

Do you have an inclusion strategy?

Are you talking about equity?

Is equity more than one line-item in your budget?

How do you frame hiring or admissions as they relate to equity?

Do all departments value diversity and multiculturalism as important?

And finally, are you more than just a Starbucks sign?

You have a unique opportunity to influence those around you (humans and corporations), to stretch your and other’s minds, and to achieve real and authentic impact. I hope you’ll consider the possibilities.

Seeking congruence,

Michael

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I am not defined by a test.

I took the GRE last week.

I should also note, I almost didn’t. I signed up about a month ago, and after, “Register for the GRE,” collected dust on my summer To Do list.

It was the following “ah-ha” moment that aided in my eventual registration:

I am not defined by a test.

Specifically, my worth is not found within the confines of a 100-question and 2-essay exam. This ah-ha hit me hard, and it hit me raw. My fear of taking the test had nothing to do with preparedness. Instead, it had everything to do with a complete fear of being measured by an exam. I was terrified to take the GRE because I was scared of what it might tell me about myself. Because, while I may not be defined by the test, I am certainly still compared to and evaluated as a result of it.

Powerful note

And thus, the debate around worth and standardization continues.

I have a limited memory of my own childhood woes around testing. Mostly, I remember the stress, and next, I remember a constant inquiry of whether or not the test-makers would actually put four “D” answers in a row (or, what one would get on the test if they just filled-in, “A, B, C, D, E, D, C, B, A,” from start to finish).

Institutions for higher education are evaluating their admissions processes, and many schools are slowly moving toward an admissions process that does not include the ACT or SAT. Outside of the undergraduate requirements, when I was applying to master’s programs several years ago, I had friends and colleagues who only applied to graduate schools that did not require a GRE score. “It does not measure your capacity to serve students, nor does it reflect your ability to be compassionate, or empathetic, or trustworthy as a professional,” one school said to me while researching which graduate program I wanted to attend. And I tend to agree. 

Ultimately, I pursued a graduate program that did require the GRE, and my GRE experience of 2009 contained a matched level of anxiety as my current predicament.

Is this how kids feel within our preK-12 systems? Does testing support a healthy self-efficacy? Are tests really the most equitable way to measure a person’s ability? What is the area of triangle ABC, and how is x+3 divided by z-y?

These questions haunt me more than most.

“Just remember that this test and your scores do not equal your value or predict your future. It’s just a test. It cannot be won. It can just be taken.”
– My very wonderful friend, Diana

I have wise friends, right?

While I’m not proud of my score, I am also not proud of a system that puts so much emphasis on testing as a prime indicator of a person’s capability. “It cannot be won. It can just be taken.” When I think about work involving child, student, and human development, I am most hopeful that layers of empathy, understanding, and compassion are more true than a wonderful score on a test.

Of course, times are changing. The way we educate and how we are educated are both changing. Education is evolving. We are evolving. I certainly understand the foundation of the (perceived) importance of test taking, but more so, I understand the reality of testing’s ability to leave people behind (cue, “the sociology of education,” here). From a preK-12 perspective, even my own former school district has the possibility for evolution, which was apparent just this past week.

A good friend of mine from high school and college now works in the school district where I spent most of my preK-12 experience (previously referenced last year, “My high school was ‘pretty Black’“). While attending the back-to-school welcome for district faculty and staff, she captured a pretty powerful statement from the new Superintendent of Schools.

“Never say never…every child can be successful!” “You have to love the kids more than the rules, more than the test scores, more than a win/loss record!”
– New Mid-Del Schools Superintendent, Dr. Rick Cobb

This is what matters. This is how we actually and thoughtfully teach and inspire. This is how we adequately educate children and adults. Teaching is so much more than a prescribed version of ‘success.’ Success is scarily subjective – truthfully, subjective.

More than what I may or may not have learned prior to or during my own testing experience this past week/summer, I mostly learned that I was loved. I had two coworkers who gave me a gift or card almost every day leading up to the test. My significant other beautifully and patiently challenged me to pause and be kind to myself. I had friends and colleagues reach out with affirming arguments of, “…it doesn’t define whether you’re smart or worthy,” and, “…just a test in your life, not a definition of your brains and talents.” Of course, I did consider that perhaps all my friends and colleagues realized I was an awful test-taker, or just that I couldn’t use, “mercurial,” or, “obsequious,” in a sentence – either way and regardless of motivation, people showed up, and with love and support deeper than I could have bargained.

To amend my initial ah-ha (“I am not defined by a test”), I would now argue, “My worth is not found in my GRE score.” And neither is yours.

One of my very good friends put it beautifully:

“I care about you doing well, but I care most that post-test you still remember how wonderful you are. Regardless of the results…”
-My super sweet pal, Renae

I think we can all benefit from this understanding – our self (selves), our students, our colleagues, our friends.

Be kind to yourself.

I may not have achieved a perfect GRE score last week. And that’s okay. And, perhaps, my understanding of the role of an educator is skewed by my passionate belief that empathy and compassion are much more important than exam results. That’s okay, too. There’s even a chance that, if I did take the test again – which I do not intend to do – I still wouldn’t do well. And even in that second score and attempt, I am still okay.

There are two points happening here: one about the giant question mark that exists around standardized testing, and the other regarding my own experience with the GRE. And in both spaces, regardless of outcome, we are worthy, we are capable, and we are surely, certainly, undoubtedly not defined by a test score.

New wind,

Michael

Wheaties - KSP
*Bless all those who contend, “I love standardized tests.” You’re all robots.