Day 88 (of 184) self high five?
I once taught a young student how to give herself a ‘self high five’. This was part of a bigger plan for her to improve her self-image and raise her self-confidence so that she would be a leader in the class and be someone who others wanted to work with (her goals not mine). I could provide some strategies and support but knew that for her to achieve her goal, she needed to do it, not me.
As a principal I believe it is vital to know when to provide ‘a solution’ and when ‘wait time’ is required.
One of my goals at my current school is to work on the concept of being a ‘learning community’ which means (to me) that the school is greater than its individual parts. At tonight’s PAC meeting, I got done feedback that we are on the right track:
One if our 1:1 volunteer readers saw a need to create a program to provide some ‘more food’ to the ‘rumbly tummies’ of the learners she reads with. And she did. We don’t have a significant problem with food at the school, but this was a time where one of our (many) non-parental volunteers at the school took a leadership role and rallied others in the community to be able to prepare ‘extra lunches’ twice a week meaning that my ‘granola bar/fruit snack’ cupboard does not need to be filled weekly – a healthier/better alternative (real lunch vs snacks) is being provided to our learners.
As we continue down the road to eportfolios replacing report cards, there is a wish by some: ‘if only we had a finished product to use’. Yet I know that this process cannot be a top-down initiative. Having a very talented staff means taking full advantage of those talents and that means working on/towards something new. And a model/template/whatever that is ‘by teachers for teachers’. I know that what works for me may/will not work for all. I also know that we will all be more successful if I just use wait-time and trust the process.
In building leadership capacity within a learning community I think that it is important to sometimes stop, reflect and give a ‘self high five’ NOT because ‘you are doing it on your own’ but because when we collaborate best, it is a mix of individual talents/work and community support/teamwork. It’s a messy process that led to my awkward belief statement that we are collaboratively personalizing education. And that’s a good thing because individual talents are important to recognize, especially as part of a greater team, because nobody should have to (or even can) ‘do it all on their own’