In one of the classes I'm teaching for Educational Leadership at Grand Canyon University, I posed a question about who the students would or could talk to if they found themselves in a position in which they didn't know what to do or how to handle a particular school situation. One of my students spoke of the "tribe" she uses to bounce ideas off of. Several of us have posted responses to her practice. I am so blessed to have several tribes with whom I use for different situations in life.
In presenting to teachers, school leaders, and university professionals all over the world, I have been so happy to find people with whom I can co-present, people who I go to for new ideas on presenting strategies, administrators who network with me and continue to become true friends and comrades in this education journey. I tell new teachers and administrators to "stick with the winners" and only go to those people for advice. Some people in education (any profession, also, of course) can get burnt out and share their burnt out feelings. Who needs that?
When faced with a situation in which I'm feeling resentful, discouraged, or troubled by worry, I have a tribe of spiritual advisors and fellow travelers who are still making their way through situations that used to baffle me. We can discuss our journeys, give each other advice and not be offended in the least if the person decides to go a different direction (after all, it is not my business to "grade" someone on the choices they make, only to be there to support).
Dave makes fun of me because I tell so many people "I love you". You know why I do that? Because I love so many people. I know better than to share every single secret in my life with every single person, but I still love and cherish the relationships I have with so many friends from so many different seasons of my life. Let me preface this by saying I went to 8 different schools in my 12 years of K-12 schooling. I still have managed to stay friends with Tricia, my bestie from 4th - 6th grade. I also am still EXTREMELY close to my rock and cornerstone best friend from high school, Denise. She and her family even vacation with Dave and me once every other year to Cabo San Lucas. Robin and Kelly were my best friends in college, we were in each others' weddings, and we now get together at least twice a year (husbands are allowed to come for the summer trip). We just finished with one of those "you can come, too, husbands, but beware----there will be loads of laughter that turns to crying between the three girls". The guys have simply resigned themselves to the notion that you can't contain this joy, so they no longer try. All of these friends are near and dear to me and are unique in each way we value our friendship.
What about you? Who is in your tribe? And for what reasons do they stay there?
Happy Communicating (in and out of your tribe),