Why We Work in Schools
At the beginning of each school year, I like to revisit
big-picture questions with colleagues starting with, “Why do we work in
schools?” For many of us, the answer boils down to a belief that the single
most important investment we can make in our society is to provide a high quality
education to children.
Once we consider this goal from multiple perspectives, the real work of the school year can begin. We then have the opportunity to revisit the school's mission and focus efforts on empowering students who will help shape a changing world.
Ultimately, schools fulfill their missions and grow because of the hard work and dedication of many individuals. Faculty who resist falling into routines but instead are continually considering ways to improve on past experiences in the classroom are at the forefront of this essential work. These individuals help schools evolve their methods to have a lasting impact on the students they serve as well as the larger community.
As a school leader, I rely heavily on those around me to help manifest the kind of thinking and innovations that will help us achieve these goals. A significant part of my job is to vet big ideas with others as they arise, validate the good ones, and empower people to make important changes by providing resources and/or time while clearing away obstacles that stand in the way. It's a challenging process, but I believe it also can be one of the most rewarding things we can do. And after all, it's why we work in schools.