Friday, April 06, 2012

We Can't Be All Things

No one educator can be all things, but if you look closely at the skills, talents, passions and vision of a school staff, the potential to collectively be "most things" is there.

What are the essential talents, skills, interests and passions that drive a school forward?  Who on your staff plays these roles?

The Book Whisperer: Who are the staff members that are passionate about books.  The ones that take the time to stay on top of the best children's literature, and are always suggesting new titles and genre for students?

Sports Coach: Who engages students in fair, fun games on the playground? They pull in the outliers, set the rules and promote active, energized games during recess?

Naturalist: Who tends the gardens, creates the nature trails and fosters students' love of the environment around them?

Scientist: Who has the "science lab" in your school--the room with plants, aquariums, experiments and tools to investigate, experiment and explore?

Techy:  Who are your tech savvy leaders who infuse technology into every aspect of learning?

Social Coordinators:  Who plans the parties and manages celebrations?

Artists:  Who develops and presents the visual art, music, drama and dance in your school?

Counselor: Who is keenly aware of children's social intelligence and emotional needs?  Who fosters an environment of care and compassion in your school?

Friend: Which educators demonstrate friendship?  Who takes the time to develop relationships among staff and students?

Interior Designer: Who creates comfortable, inspiring child-centered environments?

Planner:  Who keeps an organized schedule, and realistically plans for events?

Researcher: Who takes the time to read and research in specific content areas?  How do they share their knowledge and implement their research?

Travel Guide:  Who plans the field studies?  Who connects learning in school to the community and world at large?

*Humorist: Who brings the laughter to your school?

*Problem Solver/Innovator:  Who proposes the new ideas and comes up with solutions to problems? (i.e. Celina: "the superhero.")

*Positive Leadership: Who sees the jar "half full," and shines the light on what's going well in your school environment.  Who brings the positivity?  (as Celina calls it, "the Jedi Masters.")

What roles am I missing?  What talents and passions do you observe in your colleagues each and every day?

Similar to parenting, educators wear many hats each day.  Thoughtful employment of the passions, experiences and talents of a school staff can help schools meet students' needs and interests with greater effect.

*Thanks to Celina Brennan @celinabrennan, I added these roles.