People will always be the problem
And people will always be the solution
And so the conference started, and already I was forced into serious reflection. Could it be that simple? Could it be true that people will always be both the problem, and the solution? From that moment on, I vowed to be as intentional as possible, taking in every word each presenter spoke and absorbing as much information as possible from my colleagues, regardless if I had worked with them for years or had just met them over breakfast. As I wrestled with the notion that people are the problem and the solution, I started to wonder, when am I part of the problem, and when am I part of the solution. It became obvious that while the statement is simple, the complexity lives in what we do every hour of every day with our students. When you think of the problems in your class, ask yourself, what are you doing to be a part of the solution? Jimmy Casas (@casas_jimmy) asked us a question about what we want to see in our schools, do we want to see average or do we want to see excellence? As you reflect on your students, do you want them to be average or excellent? He went on to ask the tough question after that, if we know there is average in our school, what are we doing about it? We can be part of the problem, or part of the solution, it’s our choice. There was so much more that I took from the time I spent in Prince Albert, and hopefully over the next few weeks we will have an opportunity to discuss some of these things.
Going from interviews directly to the conference this weekend, I was forced to think about how we communicate with our parents. Corinne does a great job letting people know what events are going on and when they need to have forms and/or cash submitted to the school. We also do a wonderful job of sharing the big picture of what we are doing through our school newsletter and class newsletters. Where I feel I am coming up short as a school leader is sharing the day to day things that are happening in and around our building. Every day I see multiple examples of excellence in our building. From motors being torn apart and rebuilt, to high end cake decorating, to innovative math and science lessons, to empowering sharing time, to hilarious games of line tag, there are multiple things happening all the time! The keynote speaker, George Couros (@gcouros) took some time during one of his sessions to critique our website after I had questioned why there was so little traffic. While he was brutally honest, I believe his words were, “your website is boring”, his meaning was loud and clear. We compete with so many different mediums everyday, and if there is no reason to spend the time going to our website, why would we expect people to? One commitment I am going to make is to be more diligent in capturing images and videos of the great things going on and sharing them on Twitter with the hashtag #WaldheimSchool. I invite you to do the same thing by taking the time to snap a picture or take a video and share it out.
Lastly, I want to thank all of you for your tremendous work at the parent/teacher conferences last week. These are a great opportunity to connect with our parents, and while it is only for 15 minutes, it is a chance to engage in a learning conversation to help our students along the path towards excellence. As you look all the way back to last week, and I know it seems like a long time, what were some things that stood out to you? You had your list of interviews prior to Wednesday and Thursday night, and if you are like me, you would have likely tried to anticipate what each interview would be like. Were there any interviews that did not go how you imagined? How many interviews did go as you had imagined? Now that you have that informal data in your head, what does that say about how well you know your students and their parents? As you reflect on your interviews, what will you do different next time?
So, with all that being said, here’s what lies ahead this week:
- David away all day
- K – 3 gym blast (pm)
- 4 – 12 ski trip (all day)
- Tom’s last day 🙁
- Staff meeting (8:00 am)
- Business as usual.
As always, create a great week!
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