Thursday, February 18, 2016

Walking The Pathways To Make the Incredible Work Possible - A Day After the Birthday When Submit Buttons are Possible

January and February are intense for National Writing Project Directors. Grants are due, partnerships are created, collaborations occur, and articulating what can be possible is outlined as each site competes for the limited funding possible.

The work comes at a time of new semesters, MLK celebrations, dossiers, and departmental meetings. Still, we do what we can to make the potential for dreams an option for young people and their teachers.

Yesterday, by 6 p.m., I hit submit on two grants after being rejected, earlier this week, for a third. All a site director can say is, "Well, we gave it the best shot that was possible." I completed my day-after-a-neglected birthday with another day of fine-tuning proposals to keep our particular National Writing Project afloat. Like many directors, I know there's a vision here worth investing in, but also recognize that the potential for funding is limited in today's educational context. Still...try I must. As I told all who worked in collaboration with me, "We have to give it a shot. Not trying is the surest way to not see our vision moving forward."

The Orangemen fell to the Cards. They played a different game in the first half than they did in the first. The Cards won the game with their strength and talent. No hard feelings here. I can't lose when they play one another. I'm a fan of both places who gave me degrees.

And such is the life of honest, good, and focused competition to receive the funding to initiate more opportunities for incredible teachers, state to state. It shouldn't be a battle for providing for excellence  in each and every state, but that is the nature of education in the 21st century. To make contributions, one must have a design worth investing in - a design that is innovative, unique, and full of potential for replication. In a culture where funds are limited to support K-16 teachers, one simply needs to think outside of the box and hope. That is the best we can do.

Ah, I am fried, my friends. But I did the best I can do. Now I wait and hope. No matter the result, I know that recipients of the excellent work will be able to continue moving a focus and determination forward. That is the nature of the dog-eats-dog work. 

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