March 1, 2015
I spent some time s this past month with a few of my newsletter readers. My essential question for 2015, which I shared in last month’s newsletter, had piqued their curiosity. I had posed the question, “How can I live courage, breathe courage, and give courage?” and they wanted to know more. Explore answers with me. Get under the surface.
I know that their interest in ‘what courage meant to me’ was genuine. I know that their curiosity was well meaning. And while I am marinating and percolating, growing and stretching, the pursuit of answers felt too probing. I felt exposed – a bit vulnerable.
As I said to one person, the idea of question asking in this form is an already very personal and intimate act. It is scary to turn a flashlight on one’s character. To be seen, even by yourself, can be risky. Agreed, I did put the question out to the world in this newsletter. Every month, I take deep breaths when I hit ‘post.’ It is good for me and my work as a consultant. And, I feel it is also good for me and my Work with a capital "W" as a human being trying to give courage to others.
I grew up in the Midwest with a mother who, although gone from this earth for over five years, still is present when I show too much cleavage. For me, to show skin at all is a courageous act. In fact, I bought shoes yesterday and the sales person said, “Just the right amount of toe cleavage.” I skittishly asked if others would find that appealing. “Any cleavage, anywhere, is appealing,” he commented. Gulp. And yet as I swallowed, a small smile crept across my face.
Last night I wore those shoes. Perhaps next week a bit more skin…
If you have any questions, comments or topic suggestions, please feel free to call me, 650-868-1916 and we can Face Time, Skype me at jenniferabrams, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a time to talk voice to voice. I look forward to hearing from you!
The following are upcoming summer and fall events you might consider attending. See you there!
Mediterranean Center for Innovation is hosting a series of intensive, two-day institutes in July 2015 in the lovely seaside resort town of Marbella, Spain. Sixteen institutes in total are being offered as part of the summer session; each institute is a stand-alone experience, allowing participants to delve deeply into an engaging concept related to transforming learning in the 21st Century.
Visible Learning Annual Conference in San Antonio on July 13-14 will convene educational and thought leaders from across the globe to share and dialogue around content and research to deepen our understanding of what actually works best in schools to improve learning.
At the 2015 Teaching and Learning Conference with Jim Knight on October 25-28 in Denver, CO participants will: 1) Understand effective instructional coaching techniques 2) Learn to build healthy relationships and foster commitment with fellow educators through instructional coaching 3) Take away strategies for efficiently conducting classroom observation, teacher enrollment, debriefing, and modeling inside and outside the classroom 4) Attain leadership skills that will encourage school-wide reform, build consistency, and spread ideas across schools.
About Jennifer Abrams
Jennifer Abrams considers herself a "voice coach," helping others learn how to best use their voices – be it collaborating on a team, presenting in front of an audience, coaching a colleague and supervising an employee. Jennifer holds a Master's degree in Education from Stanford University and a Bachelor's degree in English from Tufts University. She lives in Palo Alto, California. Jennifer's latest book is Swimming in the Deep End: Four Foundational Skills for Leading Successful School Initiatives. Her previous publications include Having Hard Conversations, The Multigenerational Workplace: Communicating, Collaborating & Creating Community and Hard Conversations Unpacked – the Whos, the Whens and the What Ifs. She has also created a Corwin Press e-course by the same name.
Work with Jennifer
Praise for Jennifer
Honest, Humane and Growth-Producing
“Our school’s work with Jennifer Abrams has sown the seeds of stronger communication skills among the adults in the building. This has only served to strengthen the integrity of communication between staff and students as well. We’ve added her language to our expectations: honest, humane, and growth-producing conversations occur regularly.”