When I’m asked what’s special about our school or what makes our school different, I respond consistently each and every time. Oh we have our mission and vision, as well as our “true north,” but my response doesn’t immediately address those important representations of our school climate and culture. Of course we want each student to have a safe, positive, and encouraging experience, and I truly believe that we all want what’s best for students. However, those beliefs don’t come to life organically without our willingness and ability to engage in the critical, initial leap of faith:
“We have the hard conversations.”
We have the hard conversations that lead us collectively to what’s best for students. To creating a safe, positive, and encouraging experience for all members of our learning community. That require us to reflect on our mission, vision, and values and ask ourselves if that’s what we truly believe. Whether it’s about student behavior, teacher performance, administrative or staff support, our enrichment or athletic programs, and yes even our traffic pattern, we have the hard conversations. That’s the kind of place I want this to be. And each time I am challenged with a difficult question, I try to express my gratitude for it as well as the invitation to see whether our actions align with our values.
As we wrap up our third quarter prior to Spring Break, I encourage you to look for the opportunity to have the hard conversations when we return, and yes, perhaps even to initiate them. Whether they be with the most challenging student, parent or family, colleague, or administrator, the most important thing we can do is to choose to engage.
I am beginning a series of weekly open forums for our school community in the fourth quarter. Each week, I will reserve a consistent time for any parent or community member who has a question, concern, or idea about who we are, what we do, and why we do it. If you would like to join me one Friday in these conversations, please feel free to let me know. Or, let me know why you wouldn’t even if I paid you extra. Either way, we are better for having had the conversation. Have a great Spring Break!