Making Schools Better

So… I’m starting something big-ish this week.

I’m becoming a student again. I’m starting the School Administration Add-On Licensure program at UNCW. Eek.

Why?

Great question. I really wanted to have a solid answer for it before I started the coursework. I wanted to have it written down somewhere so that I can look at how my views, purpose, and/or expectations may change after actually swimming in the pond for a while. I wanted to always have my pie in the sky vision there for when I became bogged down in the depths of the job.

But then I didn’t write it down. I’ve thought about it a lot and I have a pretty good idea of my why, but it didn’t completely crystallize into something I could write down until yesterday.

I was listening to a Kids Deserve It podcast while running. I was listening to Joe Dombrowski talk about his educational leadership philosophy, and I really started to think about mine.

I want to make school better.

For students. For teachers. For parents. For the community.

But what does that mean?

To be  honest… I don’t exactly know. I have a few of my own ideas of what I think will make classrooms and schools better, but it isn’t all about me. It’s about all those other guys.

Because what is better to a student is totally different depending on the student you talk to. Some may want school to be more fun. Some may want school to be more challenging. Some may want school to be safer.

Because what is better to a teacher is totally different depending on the teacher you talk to. Some may want more collaboration. Some may want more autonomy. Some may want more flexibility in seating or assessment or schedule. Some may want more responsibility.

I think better means creating spaces and classrooms that make students and teachers excited to get to school every day. To see what amazing thing will happen today. To share something amazing that happened after they left yesterday. To find out the answers to burning questions.

Better means something different to everyone. That’s why it isn’t about me. I want to lead schools to what the better is for everyone on that team. I won’t know what that means until I know who I’m serving.

And regardless of how much better you make school, you can always make it even better. Always. Better is not an end game. It’s a constant state.

So… That’s my why.

How would you replace the word better? What would make school better for you?

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