Wyoming Education Association

Fall 2018

Issue link: http://digital.copcomm.com/i/1036712

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Page 21 of 31

X X WEA at Work 19 Visionary Leadership Quest WEA is on a Visionary Leadership Quest For the fi rst three days of August, WEA leaders and emerging leaders from across the state came together in Casper for the inaugural WEA Visionary Leadership Quest. This conference was a shared learning journey that targeted transformative experiences to support our WEA leaders, and ultimately all of our members and future members. Our "Quest" defi ning our visions for what our state and local associations will be and do as they grow in membership; engage all members in the important work we do on behalf of Wyoming's students, schools, educators, and communities; and, grow in power and eff ectiveness to take on the important challenges facing public education in Wyoming. To guide us we have NEA's vision of "Great Public Schools for Every Student." Envisioning the work we have to do is crucial to our students' and our communities' futures given our current economy, the challenges of serving both rural and urban areas, and the constant attacks on the great public education system we have built in Wyoming. Part of the discussion at the WEA Visionary Leadership Quest focused on how we develop our collective power, how we use it, and how we nurture it. We must fi rst start by building relationships with colleagues, parents, community leaders, civic groups, and elected offi cials from school boards to the legislature to the governor's offi ce. We, as leaders, need to be willing to do the work – to "suit up and show up" – and bring others along in this work. In bringing our skills and community relationships to our work with the association, we must do what we do best – EDUCATE! We must share our personal stories, our vision, and the urgency of our important work. Here is a simple exercise from the WEA Visionary Leadership Quest: If you had to name visionary leaders who inspire you, who would they be? Martin Luther King, Jr.? Steve Jobs? Malala Yousafzai? Oprah? A respected teacher, pastor, or relative? What qualities do these visionary leaders exemplify? How do you carry their work forward in your own work? How is your vision for the future of public education inspired by their example, their teaching, their sharing? Whoever inspires us, they are our teachers. They have a vision of how the world could be, what human potential could accomplish, and the power of communities. In sharing their vision with us, they become our guiding beacons, our points of reference, and the measure we use to calibrate our work. Our challenge is to keep our focus on our vision and to share it with others, so they may look to us for inspiration, guidance, and support. In sharing our vision, we are leaders. In welcoming others to "suit up and show up" with us, we are leaders. In celebrating every small victory along our path to our shared vision, we are leaders. We lift each other up and provide the energy we need to continue toward our goal. Rebecca Murray of the Natrona County Education Association shared her vision for leadership at the Quest. When WEA, its leaders, and its engaged members have a shared vision of desired outcomes, we will spend our energy, time, and resources on the many varied paths to achieve that shared vision. One of our fi rst tasks is to conceive how our schools and communities will benefi t and improve as a result of our actions working toward our shared vision.

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