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Friday, April 08, 2016

Serve Well

How do we serve well?

What do we do to make sure that we do all that we can do to meet the expectations and potential of our service to others?

I have been thinking a lot about this, and here are a few thoughts.
  • First, know your mission well. Talk about it with others. Refine as needed.
  • Next, respect the opinions, voices, needs, and contribution of those around you. It is in our collective voice and effort that we usually do best.
  • Don't cheat. Tell the truth. Be unafraid to question and investigate. 
  • Use fair process.
  • Seek to empower, engage, and elevate all, not some.
  • Use lead time effectively.
  • Organize information well and share readily and regularly.
  • When you need help or don't know, seek understanding with the mission in mind.
  • Create positive alliances to do good work for others.
  • Know you are not superman or superwoman.
  • Speak up against injustice, even a small injustice can turn big and hurtful if not dealt with properly.
  • Own your mistakes. Say you're sorry. Learn from error.
  • Continue to learn, get better, and improve.
  • Be gentle with yourself and others. "Go hard on problems, but not on people."
  • Have a sense of humor and use it appropriately. Don't make fun in serious situations.
To serve well for most of us is not easy fare--it takes a thoughtful, humble, and caring approach as well as a willingness to be vulnerable, to learn, and to step aside when you don't have what a situation calls for.

As educators, there is a lot that we can do to serve our students and their families well. It's best if we think about this work together, create positive systems that support this service, and continue to help one another do the work well.

How do you serve well? What is most important with regard to your service? What would you add to the list above, and how do you keep your service strong and targeted in ways that matter?

I want to think more about this in the days to come.