Principal “Reflections & Projections”
Chance favors those in motion
In our daily lives we are constantly put into situations that we are unprepared for, many of which turn out to be undesirable. Because of that, we must adapt and make decisions that either makes the situation better or (hopefully not) worse. For the most part, life is relative to this statement – “It is not what happens to you that matters, it is how you choose to respond that does.” Why not always choose to finish positive and strong to any situation in which you encounter?
Education is at that crossroad right now. Educators are constantly being bombarded with this, that and the other. Rather we like what is presented to us or not, it is time to move forward. All educators want what is best for their students. Chance favors those in motion!
As a school leader I have certain responsibilities. One of the most important is to establish a positive climate within the educational environment for students, staff members and the community. For that to happen, responding to the needs of students and staff on a daily basis is essential. In simple terms, we must have a safe, productive and supportive learning environment. A systematic, effective learning environment that focuses on student learning and success must remain the ultimate goal.
Many proven and effective educational strategies are used on a daily basis at Spearfish High School. It may be impossible for a great educator (of which we have many) to work harder, but it is not impossible for great educators to work smarter. Maybe we are simply being asked to do just that, work smarter. Let’s take this opportunity in time to build on the numerous existing great practices utilized within each and every classroom. Let’s examine the entire program, improve the systems currently in place and implement programs that will continue to enhance the education of our most important resource, our youth. As I said earlier, chance favors those in motion.
What will all of this take? Two main things - trust and time. Educators are professionals, please trust them. We must adapt and connect students to education. Student connectedness is the strongest predicator to student success. It also takes time. None of this will happen overnight. Like everything else in life, this will be a process. We will establish leadership teams to implement successful practices. We will create positive, personal connections with all students. We will implement interventions to assist all students. We will seek advice that will guide (not dictate) decision making. We need to get past schools being bullied into having an inferiority complex on what is being accomplished. Remarkable things happen in every school every day. We must develop partnerships to enhance and shape a new generation of young scholars. Right now there is a misunderstanding of what schools are really like and what schools are trying to accomplish.
During this transitional time educators, parents, and community members must work as a cohesive unit. To do anything different will punish and harm our youth. It is critical that educators challenge themselves, and one another, to think differently about educational practices. It is also critical that the public does not perceive and have mental models of schools in their mind that are shaped by fictional schools depicted on television or in movies. That perception is not reality.
Right or wrong, let’s all make sure we do something. As Harry Truman said, “Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction.” Or maybe better yet, W.C. Fields quotes, “Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.”
Until next time,