The first day of new staff training I was told I was a million dollar investment and that I wouldn't have been hired if they didn't believe in me and my ability to make a difference. "They" told me it was their job to make me the best I could be, so they told me to come to them whenever I needed anything. What a way to start. From that day on as a new teacher, I felt comfortable going into the office to ask for assistance. When the little, freckle-filled, mischevious Dan continued to be silly rather than productive, my boss helped me brainstorm ideas. He helped me solve my own problem and empowered me to come up with ideas. Throughout the years I taught in that little utopian corner of the universe, I generated countless ideas and was rewarded with great things.
As I grew in my job and learned that I found my niche, I found not only support but challenge to grow. One day Hank called me into his office and asked if I'd be interested in going to a training in Denver, Colorado with some guy named Bob Marzano. Not thinking about Dimensions of Learning or the training at all, I enthusiastically told him I'd love to go. Once at the training, I realized why I had been chosen--it was me! My dear boss knew me enough to know that this framework fit what I already believed. His sneakiness, however, showed on the way home. In the airport he asked if I'd be interested in sharing my new training with the entire staff. An extreme introvert (who has never been shy over ideas), I was a bit overwhelmed, but how could I say no? A couple decades later, not only have I trained the district staff in the DOL program, I have become a facilitator of adult learners. This work adds great things to my life and would never have happened without Hank knowing me better than I knew myself.
I could literally write an entire book on all that Hank did for me, but I'll stop here for now. I will say he has been one of my greatest mentors and I will forever be touched by him and his wisdome.
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4 months ago