no, not 'yet'
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord Isaiah 11:1-2 (NIV)
Usually, a doctoral learner would not place an entire section of the Bible as a daily question response for class. Win, lose, or draw, I did it this week - intentionally. First, it was admittedly a bit of an avoidance tactic. Second, this story of Isaiah is a great reminder to live in humility and with a growth mindset. The question this asked, “what problems did the learner face in preparing this week’s assigned sections” of a large project. In writing, there were no glaring problems. In reality, the problem faced this past week was fresh, real heartache, unrelated to the doctoral journey but preventing any focus on it.
The story of the shoot of Jesse relates to the writing on the doctoral learner’s journey. The 10 Strategic Points must have clear alignment and the prospectus first draft quickly becomes the stump from which something grows and blooms as long as one keeps a positive mindset and great humility. Doctoral learners come to understand the journey is taken in the spirit of gaining wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. I was once advised to make peace with the entire journey and to remember that editing changes, meeting demanding requests, responding to comments, and making mistakes are part of the learning experience. This I fully understand. In my own classroom, the concepts were difficult and the work sometimes frustrating, but my students most often hit the mark and found amazement with themselves.
I have always taught my sons and my students the word “yet.” Haimovitz and Dweck (2017) acknowledged positive results in the use of a growth mindset and suggested further research on the topic. The phrases, “I don’t know” and “I can’t” are a different mindset than “I don’t know, yet” or “I can’t, yet.” Wang et al (2018) discussed humility as a key virtue in a leader’s journey of self-betterment. My doctoral journey is not finished, yet. Complete understanding of the research and very specific writing processes are not there, yet. The work that was completed this past week, included a revision of the 10 Strategic Points after I decided to change many aspects and for improved alignment and the Introduction through Rationale for Methodology were rewritten to match the changes presented in the new 10 Strategic Points. The section that needs the most work is the Rationale for Methodology section. I cannot focus on that, yet
...And, A little child shall lead them.
Over what most called winter break, I wrote about missing my former students from the past couple of years. No longer in the classroom daily, I was missing the students and the chaos. I have been in education long enough to see former students become teachers and parents. Not being with students every day is sometimes difficult. The students I have had over the years are part of the #OnceMyStudentAlwaysMyStudent crew. I have several who keep in contact and I love to chat with them about their journeys. I have also had the same misfortune as other teachers, of singing at other students’ funerals.
I cannot write, right now. This past week, one of my #OnceMyStudentAlwaysMyStudent crew lost his life. The times he would place his tiny hand in mine, wrap his little arms around my neck, asked me to close while he was on the climbing wall, sing quietly while he sat close by with his eyes closed, or when he even acted out - those moments all pierced my heart and stung my eyes. He had a gorgeous smile and amazing eyes. I thought about him often when I left the classroom. I have no doubt that he has the most glorious little wings. And, there is a strong likelihood that his halo has been frisbee tested!
The doctoral journey I am on is for my children, for my darlings in school, and in memory of the ones who have made me a better teacher, parent, professional, and future leader.
No matter your job or journey, do not be overwhelmed; work in pieces and work in peace, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
P.S. Don’t be afraid to tell your students you love them.
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord 3 he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; 4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. 5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. 6The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling a together; and a little child will lead them. 7The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. 9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:1-9 (NIV)
Haimovitz, K., & Dweck, C. S. (2017). The origins of children’s growth and fixed mindsets: New research and a new proposal. Child Development, 88(6), 1849–1859. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/cdev.12955
Wang, L., Junchao, (J.), L., Owens, B. P., & Shi, L. (2018). Exploring the affective impact, boundary conditions, and antecedents of leader humility. Journal of Applied Psychology, 103(9), 1019–1038. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1037/apl0000314