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It’s that time of year again when everyone winds down a little bit to enjoy the holiday season with family and friends and rest from the demands of our daily work as educators. One of my favorite movies of all time is the seasonal and timeless It’s a Wonderful Life. The positive messages of dreams, goals, hard work, relationships and the power of collective action are truly inspiring. As everyone knows, the grand finale of It’s a Wonderful Life demonstrates the power of collective action. George Bailey is saved from economic ruin and personal despair because everyone in the community contributes just a little bit to a larger cause. I always find that scene incredibly moving and trust me I’ve seen that scene a lot! After a busy semester, I am deeply immersed in my own professional reflection of change, curriculum and professional learning teams. I can’t help make the connection to the power of collective action and the changes that are occurring in our schools and country right now. Regardless of the imperfections in our public education system, we must look positively at changes as opportunities. It is the mindset we must cultivate if we want to move forward. Right now, we have a wonderful opportunity to create anew with the Common Core State Standards. To do this we must set aside our skepticism and weariness and focus intently on what we want for all of our students and then set forth to work uncompromisingly and collectively toward shared goals. If everyone makes a commitment to contribute just a little bit to this larger cause great things will happen- maybe even miracles. Just like George Bailey had his challenges, we have our challenges. But, in the midst of all that we must remember that we are standing in the middle of a wonderful opportunity, provided we all have “enough brains to climb aboard”! Enjoy this holiday season and we will see you in 2011 for the best year yet!