Sometimes when bad news abounds, it's important to make a list of the good news related to an individual, family, organization, or community.
Recently, there's been some troubling news in the paper about my school system. On the scale of things and in comparison to the grave news in Chatanooga and elsewhere yesterday, the issues are small. Nevertheless, the news has worried me and made me feel sad. I don't like to face work issues, and worse, I don't like to see colleagues face those issues either.
Therefore it's time to think of the strengths of the system I work in--the many, many good ideas and service that occur day to day.
First of all, it is a system that profits from tremendous parental involvement and care. In general the children are well loved and nurtured each and every day. They come to us ready to learn.
Next, the community supports the schools. Educators make fair salaries and have the resources they need to teach well. We rarely face a shortage of supplies to do our work.
After that, because the community supports education and the fact that students come to school ready to learn, we have little turnover so colleagues are invested and seasoned. They readily try new ideas, share their efforts, and work more than they should to teach well.
And, the facilities are suitable. Our playgrounds and fields are especially beautiful and you'll find children running and playing happily most of the time at recess.
Students get to study with multiple teachers in many subject areas including music, art, technology, library, physical education and even instrumental and foreign language (for a small fee).
There's after school and before school programs which cost money, but serve to support working families. And there are many many special events and field studies supported by the PTO, WPS Foundation, and outside grants.
Our professional learning requests are often met with administrative and financial support, and our leadership often supports new ideas and practice with expert visitors, professional time, and incubation periods.
There's lots to be thankful for in our school system. As a critical thinker whose always looking for ways to better schools and my craft, I don't always take the time to write down all the good news. But today, in the face of a challenging publicized story, I made the time to list many of the attributes of the school system that help me to do the job I seek to do each and every day.
I'm sure, in time, I'll even think of more items to add to the list.
When was the last time, you made the time to list what's working well in your organization? It's a good exercise, one that will help you to recommit to the work you do and people you do it for.