Today I submitted a proposal for a convention workshop. The proposal is based on a paradigm of curiosity, play and practice, invention and experimentation, and I worked on it with two wonderful colleagues. It was itself an exercise in professional “development,” which I want to reframe.

It’s not that I’m not developing. I’m always developing. It’s that what I think I’m doing more is learning. I’m professionally learning. Leaning in, thinking, and learning. And thus…expanding. So maybe the learning is causing the expansion. Professional Learning for expansion, for evolution.

We did a lot of thinking, writing, reflecting, collecting ideas, sharing, rewriting, re-thinking, re-conceiving, and re-naming of the aspects of the paradigm we perceive to be present, and then more thinking to name the parts, how they work together, the moves of them, and the impacts.

It was a lot of work. We were lucky enough to get to meet during a common free period – first period – to think together. We met around ten times, with the first four to five prompting “homework” to prepare for the future meetings. Then, we realized that was too cumbersome so we decided to do the “work” and the “thinking” and the “writing” when we were together.

This decision slowed things down. But this new paradigm enriched our thinking and our writing. Independently, we are three intelligent and capable and inventive minds – three devoted teachers. Together, we became fluid, finished each other’s sentences, sat patiently while one had a brainstorm and needed to work it out, read aloud to each other, word-smithed, rearranged our ideas, bounced thoughts, and composed sentences together.

We finished just this afternoon, only a few hours shy of the due date. I honestly hope we are selected to present not just because of that honor and experience, but also because I would relish the opportunity to work with these geniuses again.

In naming what we do, we managed to bring to light something we’d only sensed, but not owned.

Even if we are rejected, I can say this: the learning still happened. The expansion is – well – expanding. And the evolution? Well, that part has just begun.