Being bold is the willingness to take risks. Being Brave is the willingness to be persistent and endure the process to attain a goal. Education today requires bravery.
There are a lot of people in the world today that are bold. Social media and electronic communication have made it very easy for people to be bold . . . to make statements of beliefs and demands for the world to read and hear. From our political leaders to the stay-at-home blogger, from Twitter to Facebook there are plenty of bold thinkers. People take risks, but don’t necessarily attain the goal.
What we need today is people who are brave. We need persistent people, people willing to stand-up and own it – people who work to solve problems and attain goals. We need creative thinkers who listen to other ideas, challenge the status quo, and commit to the work. No one has every solved a problem or reached a solution on Facebook or Twitter . . . it takes doing the work. It’s easy to criticize; it’s difficult to work together, embrace the power of the team, and have the grit to succeed.
Education is too complex to simply be bold; we must be brave and have the fortitude to be steadfast to our core beliefs. With the goal of preparing today’s students to be Ready for Tomorrow, it is what is required of us.
Children need to be challenged and pushed, not to the point where they give up but to the point where they think, “Wow, look at me go.” – Robert John Meehan
One of my core beliefs is that education must be personal. For decades we have harmed schoolchildren, and lowered the effectiveness of America’s public schools, by trying to create a uniform level of performance. Every child is different. Just like we’d never expect every child to run a six-minute mile by 8th grade or play a Bach cantata on the violin, we can’t expect every child to perform at a uniform academic level.
Every child should be pushed to his or her limit – every child should be challenged and pushed. From the student with the highest IQ to the student with learning challenges . . . each child should find their individual edge . . . and then find success through both failure and hard work. Yes, school shouldn’t be easy for any child . . . and school shouldn’t be impossible for any child. School must teach students that life is hard, that a strong work ethic and learning through failure is part of life, and that success can be earned through persistence and commitment.
Because today is the most important day on your calendar, it’s the only day you can control. It’s the only day you can live. – Coach Bennett, Nike
For those who know me personally, I am a planner and a thinker. My mind is always going – and usually focusing someplace in the future. In some cases, this serves me exceptionally well. In some cases, I miss what is right in front of me.
When I focus too far in the future, I miss opportunities to make a difference right now. When I try to live in the future, I risk missing the present. I need to be more discipline about living in the moment . . . about the influence my behavior has right now.
Only you can control your behavior in the now. We think and plan for the future, but right now, is the moment that you act. Don’t let the now – don’t let today – pass you by.
Don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace. – Dalia Lama
We spend time practicing discipline behavior. We teach, and live, the E + R = O heuristic. Events happen in our lives, we control our response, and the quality of our response determines the outcome. The only thing we can control is our R – our Response.
Don’t permit the behavior of others to eat at you. Don’t permit the words, the actions of negative people to make you hardened or vitriolic. It’s easy to let those who are undisciplined and hateful to bring us down – but we must fight the good fight. We must own our response and live a discipline life.
The school is the last expenditure upon which Americans should be willing to economize. – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Operating a public school system is expensive – and it should be expensive. Our schools shape the future; our schools are training the next generation to continue the American dream.
The most important resource in education are the teachers in the classrooms – they must be the best! Teacher training and stability is essential. We must continue to invest in the best teachers to create rich opportunities for students.
We must continue to analyze and evaluate our spending practices; we must be responsible stewards for taxpayer dollars. We can’t cut corners and economize on what matters most.
Too many want 5 minutes of fame instead of working 10,000 hours to become great. Fame doesn’t last. Character through hard work does. – Jon Gordon
Think about those people in your life, those people you’ve encountered in the past, that inspire you. Think about leaders that light a spark . . . that bring energy to a room. In any field, in any organization, there are those with talent and those who work. The elite have identified their talent and put in the work.
Don’t seek fame . . . seek effort. Identify your interests, develop your skills, and do the work. Strive to be the leader that inspires others . . . be the person others want to work with because of your character.
If you’re doing something just because it’s always been done that way, you may be missing an opportunity to do it better. – Bill Parcells
One of our three values in the Hilliard City School District is our Passion for Growth. We are committed to a journey that includes being better today than we were yesterday. We live a growth mindset . . . we are on the path to being elite and it takes great work.
Getting better doesn’t mean abandoning traditions or time-tested strategies. Getting better, living a growth mindset must include honest evaluation and reflection. It must include intentionally questioning, “It’s always been done that way” and making purposeful decisions.
Yes, we live in a time of great change. Yes, we must continue to evolve our practices. Yes, we do what we do very well and some things won’t change. For me, it’s about finding those opportunities to do better and celebrating what we already do exceptionally well
Don’t take too much on. Too many “to-do’s” lead to stress and anxiety. Focus on the must do’s and leave the remaining time for being.
I love creating lists . . . I enjoy the satisfaction of compiling an entire to do list. My challenges is not falling into the trap of creating too many “to-do’s” and not leaving enough time “to be.”
When you make a “to-do” list get in the habit of reviewing your list with a critical eye. Have you taken on too much? What are the “must do’s” and what could be delegated to someone else?
In order for me to be the “best version of me,” I need to make time for rest, relaxation, exercise, and reflection. Fight the urge to take on too much . . . seek balance.
No one ever becomes their best by focusing on someone else’s flaws. – Jon Gordon
There are times I get stuck trying to “solve” other people’s problems. There are times I become fixated on that one person, or that small group, that I want to educate and prepare for the future. It’s easy to identify what others can do better to meet my needs – it is me on autopilot; it is me being undisciplined.
A discipline life requires more of us . . . it requires us to focus on ourselves and our flaws so that we can better serve others. When I am at my best, I am focused on my behavior, on my flaws, so I can live my passion for growth.
Today when you find yourself thinking about someone else’s flaws stop – press pause – and think about what you can do to improve your response to the situation. Focus on what you can control – that’s you!
Practice without improvement is meaningless. – Chuck Knox
Each of us practices our craft every day. Do you practice with purpose, at building skill? Do you reflect and intentionally strive to get better?
Going through the motions . . . just living to “get through the day” isn’t bringing meaning to your work. Practice your skills with purpose . . . improve each and every day at what you do.
Now . . . there are going to be days that feel “flat” and there are going to be times you just feel like you need to “survive and advance.” None of us is perfect and we all fall short of our own expectations from time to time. Just don’t give up . . . don’t let one bad day lead to multiple bad days. Stay on your path . . . live the journey to be elite.