MTLINCS Musings for 2010

Reflection versus Resolution


Just sitting here enjoying a cup of coffee and reflecting instead of resolving - all of a sudden, the realization hit that the MTLINCS Staff Lounge hasn't had any good coffee lately!  So is it time to reflect or to resolve?  Reflection wins - hands down!


A year ago at this time, MTLINCS was considering New Year’s resolutions but soon realized that there were many unresolved issues.  One of those issues was Why is it that so many people are looking at MTLINCS but still not sharing their ideas?”  And so the story goes. 


Life in Montana ABLE continues to be busy with everyone going in multiple directions.  Over the years, program autonomy has shifted to program interconnectedness, not only on a national level but also on a state level.  Some may not like that change. 


Why is that? There are many perceived benefits to autonomy – the major one is that one can “take” and then, in turn, decide just how to and how much to “give”.  Becoming less autonomous and learning to value the “wisdom of the crowd”, as James Surowiecki calls it, is not an easy task.  Many of those in ABLE may fear that acknowledging this wisdom may be invasive of their privacy and bring them closer to the crowd mentality.  They may feel by doing that, they may lose in the end.  However, by working as a cohesive unit, Montana ABLE may reap many benefits.


Frequently, as classroom instructors, we find that the students with whom we work have taught us more than we could ever teach them.  Success in the classroom comes much more readily when we learn to walk with our students instead of in front of them. And if that’s not learning to value the wisdom of the crowds, then what is?

MTLINCS recognizes that there is much collective wisdom in the Montana ABLE field.  Whether it be due to lack of time or fear of rejection, this wisdom is not always shared.  For a variety of reasons, though, now is the time to share.  There are three major tasks in which Montana ABLE colleagues may engage immediately: 

Interconnectedness does not have to be a negative.  Working together makes a lot of sense.  Plowing through the snow does not mean that you may not try new trails; it is really just a lot more fun and interesting when you share them with others.  And so the story goes ...  the coffee pot is on.  Come on in and have a cup!  And if you don’t like the coffee, bring some tea or hot chocolate – all flavors are accepted!

Happy New Year!