Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

The Heart of the Matter

Things are rarely as they seem. And sometimes in our haste to solve problems, maintain efficiency and restore balance, we lose sight of what's important. Sometimes with the best of intentions, we convince ourselves that addressing surface issues means that we have "fixed" a problem. We assess, we determine a course of action and we implement, without really taking the time to delve a little deeper. Without taking the time to get to the heart of the matter.

To use a medical analogy, many times in school communities, we treat the symptoms, we don't cure the illness.

I truly don't believe that this is intentional. I believe that it is the byproduct of good people trying to do the best they can with limited resources. And one of the most most precious resources in any busy school community is time. Fostering relationships takes time. Building trust takes time. Collaborating and consulting with others takes time.

That means some hard choices. To extend the medical analogy, we need to set up a bit of a triage in our school communities. It means asking ourselves some important questions...

What do we value? What are our priorities? What is non-negotiable? And what can we let go of?

In a perfect world, we could do it all. But in reality, we need to invest our time where it needed the most. If we don't, we will continue to apply bandaids to broken legs.

But our kids are worth more. They are worth investing the time to get to the heart of the matter...

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Leading NOW

Our quiet leaders. 
Earlier this week I was fortunate to be able to attend a school board meeting where two groups of students presented to trustees on diverse and important issues. Under fairly intimidating circumstances, these students were poised, passionate and articulate. I was incredibly proud. But at one point in the evening, I heard someone say to one of the younger students who presented, "You will be a fine leader one day." And it struck me- this student wouldn't just be a fine leader "one day". They were leading now.

In my own school community, there are numerous examples of student leaders. Although it's often the students in more formal roles like Student Council that are recognized as leaders, I see students leading every single day.

They lead by holding the door open for another student. They lead by volunteering to set out chairs for an assembly. They lead by picking up garbage in the hallway. They lead by being kind to a new student. They lead by example. So as much as I'm incredibly proud of our students who organize our clubs and lead our ceremonies, I'm equally as proud of our quiet leaders. They are not just preparing to be the leaders of tomorrow...They are leading now.
Not just future leaders. Leading NOW.