Quotes I love, thoughts, ideas, gratitude, etc.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vision as a Source of Inspiration

The question of motivation comes up frequently.  How do we expect teachers to turn in grades on time, report for lunch duty, supervise study hall, focus in faculty meetings, etc?  For me, one of the most important qualities a leader can possess is VISION.  I need to have a sense that we are headed in a certain direction.  I want to row the boat, but I also want to know that I'm not rowing south, while my teammate is rowing north.  I propose that a vision, coupled with a sense of what the team is doing is key to motivating.

Having said that, it is also essential that the vision be COMMUNICATED in a way that maximizes input from everyone involved. It would be a disaster to have a ship's captain who had a vision for a rowing expedition to the North Pole, while the rest of us had visions of warm Caribbean beaches.

We're back to a having the mindset and skill set to work with others to refine a vision, or having the ability to win other's over with fully-imagined and inspiring vision (even if it means colder waters).

Friday, May 6, 2011

Asking a Great Question

My best students (and best thinkers) have always been equipped to ask great questions.  I had one, Alex, who would email me a question each week, like: how is a peach's fuzz an evolutionary benefit?


Each day I send my daughter off to school and beg her to ask at least one question. 

I love asking questions.  It is an essential part trouble-shooting. When I'm building a cabinet or working through a disciplinary consequence,  that aspect of questioning plays a vital role.  What if I mount the screws this way?  Which side of this lumber is more pleasing to look at?  Does this student have a prior history?  How have we handled previous cases that are similar?  What are the parents going to think about this?  How can we support this teacher?

My friend and a source of great inspiration this past year, Sarah, sent me this blog post which speaks to me on many levels.  As a biologist, lover of innovation, Jefferson groupie, and political junkie.  The way we run school can be informed by the thinking that goes on here:

Enjoy: http://bit.ly/majjeZ