Notes #1 Robert Evans on School Leadership
“For years now, most of the administrators I’ve met have said they love education, like leading, and can’t imagine doing anything else, but that the quality of life has been deteriorating. Their jobs are, if not eating them up, eating into their lives. They are working harder than ever, longer than ever, dealing with ever greater complexity, sacrificing ever more of their personal and family time to their work. Despite this, they report, they are subject to ever more criticism and second-guessing and unrealistic expectations. They face two key sets of issues. The first is professional: Can I do it all? Can I master all that is now demanded of me? The second is personal: What does it take out of me to do it all? Is it worth it? Can I keep this up?” ~ Robert Evans, Seven Secrets of the Savvy School Leader: A Guide to Surviving and Thriving
Notes #1 from Writing Down the Bones
“This book is about writing. It is also about using writing as your practice, as a way to help you penetrate your life and become sane. What is said here about writing can be applied to running, painting, anything you love and have chosen to work with in your life…
To do writing practice means to deal ultimately with your whole life…
When I teach a class, I want the students to be ‘writing down the bones,’ the essential, awake speech of their minds. But I also know I can’t just say, ‘Okay, write clearly and with great honesty.’ In class we try different techniques or methods. Eventually, the students hit the mark, come home to what they need to say and how they need to say it. But it is rarely, ‘Okay, in the third class after we’ve covered this and this, you will write well.’
…This is the practice school of writing. Like running, the more you do it, the better you get at it. Some days you don’t want to run and you resist every step of the three miles, but you do it anyway. You practice whether you want to or not. You don’t wait around for inspiration and a deep desire to run. It’ll never happen, especially if you are out of shape and have been avoiding it. But if you run regularly, you train your mind to cut through or ignore the resistance. You just do it. And in the middle of the run, you love it. When you come to the end, you never want to stop. And you stop, hungry for the next time.
And that’s how writing is, too. Once you’re deep into it, you wonder what took you so long to finally settle down at the desk. Through practice you actually get better. You learn to trust yourself more and not give in to your voice that wants to avoid writing.” ~ Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones