You have some pretty big commitments in your Welcome pillar! I’m curious what field trips and enrichment events you have planned or are working on for this school year? I want to borrow your Do No Harm commitment of understand the “why” before reacting to the “why”. It definitely reflects some of the learning from the Habits module and is a good reminder to me. While I’m a critical thinker I also tend to reach conclusions too quickly without evaluating the reasons behind someone else’s actions. Seeing your posts on Twitter I know how proactive a leader you are and how committed you are to your students and staff. It’s very inspiring.
Thanks! We have had a slew of field trips so far this year. Zoos, aquariums, museums, Color Me Mine, Charter School Night with the Clippers, and more. We are averaging four (4) field trips a month. Today we hosted a holiday program with harps - usually one (1) enrichment activity a month at our Learning Center, which is livestreamed for those who were unable to attend in person.
It was a shift for me ... to understand and share the 'why' but I find it is so valuable and powerful. Truly helps with understanding.
Thank you, too, for the very kind words. At the end of the day, we are all here for the scholars ... and as long as we remember that, we are on a good path!
Wow, such awesome field trips! I took my kids to a really cool spot that opened up in Watsonville called the Digital Nest. An alumni from Watsonville High created it as a free space to learn about digital media, use computers, and just hang out to not be on the streets. The kids were amazed it even existed! I'd like to take them to some places outside of our community as well.
Keep up all the awesome work, have a great holiday, and let me know if you're in my neck of the woods again.
Thanks for your insightful digital poster. I enjoyed reading about the different commitments you are making at your site. You thought about the Welcome pillar from a different angle than I had considered. I like your commitment to regularly ask feedback from scholars, learning coaches, and staff. You are right that it is important to make ALL stakeholders feel welcome by allowing them a venue to provide feedback. Also, as Emily mentioned, I liked that you wrote about understanding the why before reacting to the why. It reminded me of Michael Jr.’s “Know Your Why” , He asks an audience member to sing amazing grace once and then again with purpose. Here is the link:
Your conclusion about achieving positive school culture is great, because you are correct, it is not a spectator sport!
Thanks! And thank you for sharing that link ...
It is an amazing thing when you start involving everyone ... the potential impact is tremendous with everyone rowing, and rowing in the same direction!
I always like reading your posts and seeing how you think about what we are learning in this program. I am always trying to put myself in the Admin role, and because you are already in that position, it helps me with keeping things in the proper perspective.
Your welcome pillar commitments are huge! Organizing field trips, communication systems, and community events would be so rewarding for students. Great goals.
Everything in these goals seems so streamlined and put together. I trust that you have thought a lot about where you want your school to be, and that you have an action plan of how to get there. All of the goals centered on working as a team are great, and true.
Thanks! I think we all bring some great and interesting perspectives to this program. As someone who has not been in the classroom, I am always excited to see what you and our colleagues share. Especially as my teachers work in a virtual environment as opposed to the brick and mortar setting.
There is a lot to get done at AAS - luckily we have 107 staff who feel ownership in AAS. I am pretty honored and blessed to be part of a family who is committed to ensuring the success of our scholars.
I think that your situation is unique because you have the ability to truly make a difference in multiple areas. As a CEO, I can imagine that implementing these pillars is manageable and a goal that can actually be met. As I was reading through your presentation, many of the commitments that you have dedicated yourself to are things that I could also see myself committing to if I were in your position.
In your reflection you talk about how the entire team needs to be involved and you will lead by example. I think that this is a nice way to tie in your presentation and give the audience a plan for continuing your implementation of the pillars. Nice job!
Interesting perspective, Elise! I do think anyone could implement what I have committed to, even if they are not at the helm of the school. I have always been a firm believer that anyone can be a leader ... they simply need to lead. I do believe in team, and treat my entire staff as a family ... even today we talked about our challenges and opportunities, and the only way to meet these challenges is to put all of our ideas on the table and start to collaborate to implement those ideas.
Hi J.J. I enjoyed your presentation! I too really liked your statement on understanding the why before reacting to the why. This would be such an important skill for my middle schoolers as they are often compulsive.
Your concluding two slides I think were the most true, it takes everyone at a school site to make something like this work. It is hard when there are teachers no working towards that common goal, or even worst against it.
Thank you for sharing!
Thanks! It took me a while to get to this idea of sharing the 'why' and taking time to understand it. I started to realize that if folks understand where we are coming from, and show we appreciate feedback, there is not as much heartburn with the final decision.
Huge believer in team and teamwork. I am not shy to share I do not have all the answers, but someone has a piece of one, and we need to come together to put the puzzle together!
I was excited to read your “best school in the world” commitments seeing that you have a different view them most. Not surprisingly it did not disappoint.
In your welcome section you seem to focus on building better community support. That is a big part of creating a welcoming feel not only for the students but those community partners as well. Given that you’re the CEO I can see why you would broaden your view. I am going to have to steal a few of those.
Understanding the “why” instead of reacting to the “why” is big commitment of mine as well. How do we get teachers to take a breath and see things from the students perspective?
Adding credit recovery summer school to your list of commitments is a big one but important one. Good luck with that!
Thank you! I am proud of the commitments, and have been looking at our peers, too, to see what other ideas are out there that can elevate my school.
We are pretty lucky to have this cohort; many different perspectives on education and learning. And thanks - credit recovery is huge and we have a new curriculum partner who I think will really allow us to change the game for our scholars!
J.J. Lewis - a blog sharing my reflection on educational culture in SDSU's MA.EL. EDL 610 course.