By Brian G. Ricca Ed.D.
On September 4, 2012, I wrote my very first blog post. I wanted to write regularly but needed to figure out how to start. I was in my second year as a superintendent, and for me, sometimes the blank page, with the blinking cursor patiently waiting, was the hardest part. I had admired (and still do) the internationally known educator George Couros for his weekly writing, which he continues to do to this day.
Closer to home, around Vermont, where I served then, I looked to other superintendents on social media and wrote regularly. One of them, Ned Kirsch, had seemed really approachable, so I asked him how he made the time to write as often as he did. “Ricca,” he said, “you just have to make it part of your routine. Once you get into a routine, it’s done.”
As I look back on the dates in my blog, it took me three years to get into that routine. But now, it’s a part of my professional world. Sometimes, the inspiration comes the day I’m writing. Sometimes I know what I will write a week ahead of time. Sometimes I’m moved to write about something I see in one of our schools. Sometimes, my personal life is the impetus for me to sit down at the computer. Sometimes I get stuck and look at that cursor for a long time. But I always write something.
I’ve never met George Couros in person. We’ve corresponded through Twitter, and I once got a shout-out from him during a virtual professional development event during the COVID shutdown. I continue to follow his work and admire his values, personally and professionally.
Ned Kirsch passed away suddenly in April 2019, and I never got the chance to thank him in person for his inspiration. His death was a loss for his family, school district, and the entire Vermont education community. I’m grateful for his simple encouragement, which made me start writing consistently in 2015.
The ones who sustain me are the people I see every day professionally. The folks at the district office in East Greenwich, the leadership team, the faculty, staff, and students of East Greenwich Public Schools. Their tireless commitment to “All Means All,” while invisible to most, shows in the relationships the adults have with the young people in our district.
Finally, My Family means everything to me. Not only are they the final editors of my writing, but they also share me with the people in my professional world. To them, I’m not a writer, I’m not an educator, I’m not a superintendent. I’m a husband and a dad. They share my failures and amplify my joys.
Three hundred blog posts is something I’m proud of. Prouder still of the people who walked, and are still walking with me. My sincere and humble thanks.
Brian G. Ricca Ed.D., is the superintendent of East Greenwich Public Schools.