Stories of Why
Here are just a few of the things we’ve heard from leaders and teachers that have shaped our why:
“See why it’s hard to make time for instructional leadership?”
— A middle school principal; said while holding a banned, unsafe extension cord he’d retrieved from a classroom in one hand, and a student discipline slip in the other. At the time, the principal was trying to do a learning walk, but kept getting interrupted by come-uppances.
“The focus in our building is on implementing- on doing certain things- without really talking about why we are doing it or how to do it.”
— A teacher
“I left the classroom because I was out of creative ideas… we’d stopped sharing practice regularly together.”
— A former teacher
Our Core Beliefs
We believe in people potential.
Your team and you can create engaging, equitable learning experiences for students, through which they meet high academic expectations, build inter- & intrapersonal strengths like agency and collaboration, and prepare to succeed in the 21st century world.
Educators are creators & designers who frequently work in creativity-dampening environments.
Designing learning experiences to prepare a diverse group of students in and for a rapidly evolving world is an ongoing, adaptive challenge- not a technical switch. Yet new initiatives are often approached as technical change. Adaptive challenges require the adults to experiment, continuously learn, and be resilient when things don’t work. Working in an innovation culture generates the energy and ideas needed to rise up to the challenge.
Schools are where it happens.
How a school faculty works, collaborates and learns together matters a lot. Studies show the impact not just on school culture but also student achievement. Still, many professional development opportunities and change efforts are centered outside of the school. To build momentum for ongoing growth & innovation, professional learning needs to be a school norm- to be a central way school teams do the work together.
Professional learning builds culture- not just capacity.
A sense of collective purpose & efficacy, an optimistic mindset, resilience, risk-taking and trust are cultural characteristics that energize educators to develop new strengths. These conditions grow when professional learning is designed to inspire creativity versus compliance.
The most effective way to do it is to do it.
Amelia Earhart said that. (She was smart.) We learn fast and deep by doing. Additionally, shifting mindset and culture begins with changing our actions, routines, practices. There is a lot of talk and loads of documentation about what education leaders and teachers should be doing. We believe in the power of just getting going.