You can accomplish anything in life, provided you do not mind who gets the credit
-Harry S. Truman
I’m currently into the early stages of Good to Great by Jim Collins, and one of the overarching themes has been the importance of being willing to let others take the credit when things go well. As I read this, I immediately thought about Trace and Ellen and the success they’ve experienced with the senior girls soccer program. When speaking with them, they never talk about the work they have done. As coaches, they speak about the team, the way the girls work together, the way they support each other, the way they push each other to become better, and the way they have grown together. Our senior girls soccer program has gone from good to great. Trace and Ellen accomplished a great feat, and neither of them were concerned about getting the credit.
I think about our adult learning, and how proud I am of the work we are all doing. The learning is not restricted to just our teachers, it’s all hands on deck. It is evident that the EAs, our custodial staff, and our admin assistants are a part of our learning. Their finger prints are all over our growth and their impact is especially evident with our most vulnerable and reluctant learners. Key to this learning is the work of our learning facilitators, Steve and Shantel. While they are vital to our growth, they will be the first to point to the impact Brenda has had on them as learning leaders, and how she continues to play a role in their work. While their impact is immense, none of them will stand up and say, “for it is I that has caused this learning to occur”. Even just writing that seems so absurd, which is a testament to their humility.
Our soccer program and our adult learning are just two examples, and there are so many more I could include, such as:
- our early learning program, especially the growth in our literacy skills in the early years
- our ever-evolving athletics program that is reaching more student athletes every year
- our student leadership program that is continuing to flourish under our teacher leadership
- our programming for students who struggle with the regular content
- the evolution of our parental engagement
I’m sure I’m missing other examples, and my apologies to those I may have overlooked.
These programs do not grow through good luck, they require the leadership that you provide. Hopefully as you are reading this you are reflecting on your role in the growth that is happening at Waldheim School. Hopefully you are thinking about how you are part of our story. I’d invite you to contemplate the following questions:
- Are the kids who happened to be born between 1999 and 2013 coming to their school, or are they coming to your class?
- Do you believe that just because something worked yesterday does not mean it will necessarily work tomorrow? Do you feel you have the flexibility to deal with that?
- Are you a school teacher, or a classroom teacher? (I need to credit @gcorous with that question from his book, The Innovator’s Mindset)
- Are you a change agent, and how do you model this for your students and peers?
- In relation to #4, what are you learning about this year, and how is it impacting you, your students, and your colleagues?
When I think about the great programs that are occurring in our school (and in our school division as a whole), I think about the quiet leaders that working to make this happen. I think about how Trace and Ellen would answer those 5 questions as they relate to their soccer program, and I’m pretty sure I know what they’d say. As Steve, Shantel, and Jesse discussed at our last PD day together, one of the greatest impacts to student learning, based on John Hattie’s work (found here), is collective teacher efficacy. As we continue to strive for greatness as a school, think about your role and remember, you are an important member of the team, and your gifts are needed.
Here’s what is on the horizon this week:
- Brenda is hosting two new PSSD SERTs for the morning
- All teacher staff meeting after school (agenda)
- Bruce away (partial am only)
- Halloween sock-hop (see Brittney’s email from earlier this week)
- Post-Halloween sugar crash 🙂
- 7 – 12 progress reports due to the office
- Sr. girls volleyball playoffs here (after school)
As always, create a great week!
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