Welcome, March! This year is certainly moving along quickly. Last week Compass Charter Schools (CCS) celebrated its one-year anniversary and also opened enrollment for the 2018-19 school year. We are working diligently to ensure that the current school year continues to be a great success for our current scholars, while planning for the 2018-19 school year and summer school for both our current and prospective scholars.
Earlier this year, CCS proudly joined the Energy Bus for Schools Leadership Journey (EBSLJ)! Based on the principles of the bestseller The Energy Busby Jon Gordon, the EBSLJ is on a mission to inspire scholars and educators to help them become successful leaders and have a positive impact on their school community and the world. EBSLJ is founded upon seven key principles and a unique set of best practices. It provides a transformational, multi-year approach to help schools create and sustain a positive school culture and develop positive school leaders. Each month, starting in March, we will recognize one of the EBSLJ’s seven core principles. This month, we focus on Principle 1: You’re the Driver. All month long we’re inviting our scholars, learning coaches, staff and community to think about what it means to be the driver of their own bus.
We encourage our scholars to be the driver of their own bus by allowing them to take the lead on their educational journey. Our flexible academic programs allow scholars to create their own daily learning schedule. We proudly offer scholars a wide range of unique elective courses such as fashion retail and engaging school clubs like photography, chess, coding, and leadership, to give scholars the opportunity to explore their personal areas of interest. They can choose to pursue their passions both inside and outside the “classroom” and ultimately drive the bus when it comes to their educational journey.
Being the driver of the bus also means developing and implementing strong leadership skills. When you’re the driver, you have to decide where the bus is going, how it’s going to get there and who is riding on that bus, which are all decisions that a leader has to make. Our scholars have the opportunity to develop those skills and serve as leaders of their school community by joining our Scholar Leadership Council and serving as leaders of our school clubs. These are some of the examples of how we encourage our scholars to become leaders, demonstrate kindness, and be the driver of the bus throughout their educational experience.
Our staff is also dedicated to setting a good example for our scholars as they help them develop strong, healthy leadership skills. We believe that modeling good leadership by being good listeners, kind, open-minded, dedicated and decisive are some of the best ways to help scholars, and each other, learn how to become leaders. Our teachers encourage scholars to serve as leaders in their classes by participating in discussions, by practicing their presentation skills and by sharing kind words with their peers. Our staff is fully invested in CCS and our scholars, and we will all continue to model healthy leadership skills in all that we do.
As mentioned earlier, throughout March, our Compass Community is invited to think about what it means to be a good leader and how they can be the driver of their own bus. I shared with our staff my definition of leadership:
Leadership is … offering to be part of the conversation, regardless of title or position, and taking personal initiative to bring about positive change. Leadership is bringing those conversations to the table and facilitating the various voices to ensure each one is heard, and helping to find compromise, when and where needed, to ensure forward momentum continues. It is listening … it is being open … it is owning the final product; good, bad, and/or ugly. And continuing to push forward.
To further this conversation, everyone is encouraged to share stories and pictures about modeling good leadership in our brief survey, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We want to hear from all of our community to learn why they believe leadership skills are important and celebrate this key principle. Being part of CCS is to be part of our Compass community, and our community prides itself on healthy leadership!
As Bill Bradley once said, “Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.” We are sharing the importance of leadership skills with our Compass Community in hopes of helping everyone become strong leaders who will make our world a better place. I strongly encourage all of our scholars, learning coaches, staff, and friends to share what good leadership means to them this month!
J.J. Lewis - a blog sharing the journey throughout SDSU's MA.EL. program.