Are you Indispensable? Irreplaceable? Oh, I hope not!! (by Jen Wagner)

What would happen on your campus if you were to leave?

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Educon 2.2 conference ( in Philadelphia (100% virtually from the comfort of my own home!)

As I listened to several of the speakers share about what was happening on “their” campus, I started to wonder how they were rippling out to their campus so that if they were to leave, the message of “opportunities and options”, of “21st century learning”, of “collaboration, creativity, and conversations” would not cease on their campus?

I ask you – as I ask myself…………

Are you building up people who can easily step into your place if you were to move on? Are you sharing the microphone with other voices so that yours is not the only one of power, conviction, and vision? Are you stepping aside and letting others lead and allow you to become someone who follows?

At my old position, one of my Jr. High Students from 1996 has stepped into my shoes and is now the computer lab teacher. I wished I could say that I had a part of that….but in total honesty, I did not. I was her computer teacher…and perhaps planted a seed that did germinate happily into this position. But I was working so hard on keeping my job, promoting my voice, and I did not want to share….that I really kept myself and opportunities in a box that only I had the key to. (true – yes….and ashamed – yes)

At my current position, I have given the reins to Cheri (the current computer teacher). I am doing my best to step aside and have her set the stride forward on our campus. She has more education than I do and her master’s is in curriculum development…and it just makes sense for her to lead. Her vision of tech connections in the classroom far exceeds mine. Plus, who knows where I will be next year – so I know whatever happens….our school won’t slide back to where they were in 2007 before I arrived on campus.

So – who are you working with? Who are you nudging into taking your place? Who are you sharing the microphone with at conferences so that your voice is NOT the final authority on tech topics? Who have you perhaps NOT noticed that needs to be noticed that won’t fill your shoes – but will be confident to set the stride ahead in their own shoes?

And please share with us HOW you are doing this? How are you stepping aside to let others lead, let others be heard, and let others be seen??

(this post can also be read at