Saturday, October 18, 2014

Is Inspiration the Foundation of Successful Learning and Strong Schools?

I'm thinking about a leadership's perspective when it comes to school. I'm thinking about the words that would inspire me as an educator, and the words that would inspire the kind of school I want to contribute to.

Here are the words I'm imagining:
  • You matter to our school. We need you--we need your perspective, your voice, your example, your experience. Our school is made up of many talented individuals who care, and we need each one of those educators to be who they are, share what they know and believe in, and work together to best support each and every child. 
  • What do you care about?  Your passions matter?  How do you use your passions each day to inspire your students and develop your craft?  How can we find ways for you to share your passions, strengths, and unique approach with your colleagues to help grow our whole school with diversity and strength?
  • What's your story? What led you to education?  Why does being a teacher matter to you?  Are you reaching your personal goals as an educator? How is your education story progressing?
  • What challenges do you face in your work?  How can I help you overcome those challenges?  Is there anyone in the school that is particularly helpful to you in this regard?
  • How can our school be better? Where do you see room for growth?  What conflict do we need to address, discuss, and grow from?  How can we change the school environment to better support each learner including students, educators, family members, and leaders?
  • Looking ahead where should we set our sights? What do we need to be thinking about, planning for, and learning about?  How can we better meet our collective vision, and what's our vision time line?
  • Are we meeting our students' goals? Which students are left out and why? How can we better support those students? When are time and resources not well used, and when are we maximizing our use of time and resources to best effect?  What models are most effective, and why?  Where are the successes, and how did they come about?
Schools thrive when inspiration, meaningful conversation, vision, and share abound.
The words above are words I think of when I think of strong schools. What words, questions, and ideas do you associate with strong schools?  How are those thoughts and ideas conveyed?

To do good work at school whether you are an educator, leader, or student requires inspiration because learning is hard work, work that requires focus, support, apt tools and materials, and vision. How does your learning organization inspire, and why is that important to you, your students, and colleagues?

I believe inspiration is the foundation of strong schools and successful learning. Do you agree?