I've been reading a lot of Seth Godin lately. I enjoy his blog and his books. The message that strikes home with me is: Find Your Tribe. Look for the people who will lift you up, celebrate with you, help you grow, and be the best you can be. Find Your Tribe.
My family is fortunate to have grandparents who are involved and willing to share in life moments. Last October, my husband and I ran a half-marathon together and my parents went with us to watch the kids before their race. This past weekend, his parents came with us to another race. We could not stretch ourselves physically and mentally without the support from our parents. They are our Family Tribe.
During the race at King's Island, I saw another tribe: a tribe of runners. Very few knew each other, but we were there for a common goal. I saw one runner stop her race, run back, pick up something, and run it up to the person who lost it. She sacrificed seconds off her time to help another member of her tribe. While I was running up a hill, I began talking to another runner. She was from Cleveland and felt her entire training did not prepare her for this course. (It was HORRIBLE, but more on that another day!) I told her I was a teacher and blogger, and was writing blog entries about this experience in my head. She followed me for a while. After the race, she stopped me to ask what the name of my blog was and she was going to look it up. (If you're out there, Kudos to you for finishing! You did great!) Another guy, encouraged me along while I was grumbling going up a hill. He's running the Columbus Marathon in October and was glad to hear there wouldn't be hills. Towards the finish, he was struggling, so I encouraged him along through the finish chute. I do not know any names, but they made an impact on me and I hope I did on them. That's a Tribe.
Lastly, I have a Professional Tribe. There is a small core group at my school collaborating in every manner. They encourage one another. They share ideas. They stretch their thinking. They matter. I found a tribe throughout our district. We met a couple times over the summer to share technology ideas to use with our students. Lastly, I have a twitter tribe. I have talked with more teachers and individuals throughout the country and have learned so many things. While we may never meet in person, we are a Tribe.
So, my tribes vary. But they are my tribes. As you begin the school year, Find Your Tribe to help you along and stretch your thinking.