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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Changes that Matter

As I listen to the desires of those around me, I hear words that reflect changes that matter.

I live with, work with, and know many dedicated people. Typically these people share ideas for optimal change--ways to make things better.

I know it's important to listen, really listen to what matters. It's so easy to overlook the voices of some or demean their work and effort, but to elevate one is to elevate all--no one should go unheard.

As I think about this, I wonder what is the best way to elevate the voices of those around me.

With my children, it's typically been the question, "What do you need, want, and desire," as that question lends itself to immediate needs, current wants, and future desires. That helps me help them.

At school, I try to encourage students to be the learners that they are capable of being. I tell them that I'm there to help them in any way I can and I encourage them to "teach me how I can best teach them" by advocating for their needs, asking questions, and seeking support when needed.

With colleagues, I want to work with them to empower the best of what we can do? What can we create, seek, and do together to create the best possible learning community? What supports us in this regard and what stands in our way? Today at a meeting many noted structures, roles, and routines that were supportive and others that could be better. We all see it from a slightly different angle, yet many of our thoughts, desires, and needs were similar with regard to what we need to do the jobs well.

Better is a moving target. We're never there and there's always more we can do to elevate and empower our efforts to teach and learn well. The key is to continue to strive for the betterment we desire and the betterment that we know will make a difference for children. Doing well by children is why we chose to teach in the first place, we were drawn to support and help understanding that education is a "super power" when it comes to living a good life.

I don't have all the answers, and I'm only one voice. I look forward to working with my colleagues to think deeply about how we can best effect our work environment to empower our efforts to teach well. We're starting at a strong place and with some thoughtful tweaking and revision, we'll get to an even better place with regard to doing our jobs well. That's a good focus to have.