Highlights of 2018 and Goals for 2019

We can learn more from reflecting on our successes than agonizing over our failures. And leaders have plenty of victories. People don’t always point them out or even acknowledge them but they are there. We just need to recognize our successes and leverage them.

You didn’t get this far, being easy on yourself. Shit, neither did I. You are your harshest critic. Naturally, it is so hard to honor our hard work and celebrate our successes. We feel that if we get too happy, we will become complacent, and the whole building will topple.

This is especially true if we are working towards social justice. Comfort means we are being co-opted by the system, and if not digested in the belly of the beast, comfort means that we are making friends with the enemy. This is especially hard for me. I got into this work for change and it’s never done. But, we make progress, and this is a time for honoring our hard work.


Here’s the top blog posts from 2018.


My Highlights of 2019

  • My daughter turned 1. I still can’t believe I have a little mini-me running around. Nothing else compares to family and the next generation. Even though things got harder, it gave me purpose, one far deeper than social change. It is all about her. 
  • My wife started grad school to work on her teaching credential. She’s going to be so awesome. We have an educator’s household and I get to support her in her endeavors. Proud of you baby. 
  • My school started implementing PBL in the whole school. Deeper learning is happening inner-city youth. Our students are getting access to what has been denied for decades. That is justice.
  • I openly named White Supremacy Culture at my school and in my district, multiple times. Boom. We also touched on white fragility, brave spaces, and more.

  • I launched this Blog, published 40 articles, reached 10,000 people, and surpassed 16,000 views. Who woulda knew?

  • I got 2 of my articles featured on other sites (Getting Smart and Buck Institute of Education) 
  • I was able to guest lecture at UC Berkeley, in my old Principal Program. Full circle is a pretty thing. 
  • I got to present alongside my mentor and role model Zaretta Hammond, and share my reflections on leading CRT at my school. Excited to expand on this work.
  • I was invited to lead a yearlong PLC for schools interested in growing Culturally Responsive Teaching. We’ve had 3 sessions so far and this work feels powerful. 
  • I traveled to Paris with my family. My daughter will know a world far different than the one I encountered in the Tenderloin of San Francisco. 


Analyzing Our Successes

There’s a great protocol that you can use with educators to reflect on what made something successful. It’s called the Success Analysis Protocol. My longtime colleague, Kevin Odle, put me on to it. It is pretty cool. Instead of planning new action or having people share struggles, each person learns from each other’s successes. Here’s the protocol if you are interested.


What I am looking forward to in 2019

  1. I’m hoping to build more capacity of our staff to take leadership in deeper learning and racial equity work at our school.
  2. I am excited about my wife receiving her teaching credential and getting her own classroom! My daughter will be starting preschool and doing some gymnastics.
  3. I am planning to attend a few conferences (post coming about that) and read more books (you already know the book reviews on deck). I am looking to start writing more memoir type post to experiment with how I might approach a book one day.
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