Aspiring to be a Redwood

By IPLI Mentor Jane Rogers

This is the second post in a series following Mike Pinto’s post “Becoming a Redwood.”

From my perspective, Mike Pinto is a Redwood, even though he doesn’t see himself as reaching that status in the forest of educators yet. Really, though, the people that each of us holds as ‘Redwoods’ is highly personal. We are drawn to our pillars because of special characteristics that connect us. We all began our career looking to Redwoods, aspiring to be like them. What we may not realize is that all along the way, we have been Redwoods to someone else who is not as far along on their path. We are an awesome presence to a new teacher or maybe a student. As we aspire to be among the greats, some are considering us there already. And so we evolve.

That is where leadership experiences like IPLA and IPLI are integral in our professional learning. When serving as my mentor, and now as a colleague, Mike Pinto is such an awesome presence, exhibiting a genuine caring and compassion for every person and every endeavor undertaken. Those qualities and more are some I hope to emulate as a mentor.

What are you hoping to gain from this experience, either as a mentor or participant? What can you contribute? By thinking of answers to both of these questions, each of us will be a stronger educator and the connections we make in IPLI will be a meaningful, sustaining presence for many years to come.