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Align Our Compass

Align Our Compass

Naming your North Star

What is your North Star? In other words, the “why” to our “what” or reason we exist. We have a common vision in Klein ISD that every student enters with a promise and exits with a purpose. These are the guardrails to our practice. As long as our personal why and practice empowers students within these guardrails, we all have our compass aligned. Here is a reminder of why we do what we do…watch this pep talk! Very inspiring and funny (my two favorite things). This would be an awesome Monday Motivation video for the class!

Holdsworth “Back to the Future” Activity

What if you woke up one day in a Utopian future for students and teachers? What would that look and feel like? During our experience at Holdsworth, we engaged in a “Back to the Future” Activity. We were challenged to describe what students, classrooms, teachers, and communities looked like in 2025. We were charged with using our imagination to create an audacious (bold) vision. Next, we described what “was” happening in 2018. What initiatives and practices were schools and systems focused on? I’m sure you can quickly name a few! Finally, we bridged the gap between 2018 and 2025. We brainstormed steps and actions that “were taken” to get us from then to the awesome reality of the “future!” It was a very powerful activity. Want to try it with your staff?? I created an adaptation HERE. Our entire staff divided into groups using Flipquiz, and I used google slides to link to unique timers for all the breakout thinking time. It is a powerful way to empower us all to work towards a common vision and name/abandon practices that are not adding value.

“Leaders find the walls, and place the ladders.”

There was a quote that resonated with me deeply throughout this experience: “Leaders find the walls, and place the ladders.” Think about that for a second. What does that mean to you? TEACHERS find the walls, and place the ladders. In other words, we are charged with finding barriers, and empowering students to create solutions. As teachers, we are the first point of direct contact with our students. We are charged with knowing each student by name, strength, and need. With that, we will discover in time what the walls are for our students, and place the ladders for them to be successful. This can be applied to all areas of growth: social, cognitive, emotional, behavioral, academic, character, etc. Let’s all fail fast and forward! Meaning that during the continuous improvement cycle, we want to try new strategies to improve and quickly abandon plans that aren’t working. Need an inspiring, emotion-filled reminder that falling only makes us stronger? Look no further! Watch this video. This brings me to tears and inspires me to be that special person to love on our kids every day. Show your students or staff this when your classroom or school culture is in need of that inspirational spark!

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Best Public Schools in Texas
Klein ISD has an established 81-year history of excellence and innovation in education with unique pathways for EVERY student in our care to ensure learners are college, career, military, and life ready. With recognition for STEM, athletics, fine arts, and academics from highly-esteemed organizations, it is clear that Our Shared Vision of every student entering with a promise and exiting with a purpose is a reality for EVERY student who walks through our doors.

About Klein ISD
Klein ISD is a school district in Klein, Texas located in northwestern Harris County. The district spans approximately 87.5 square miles and serves more than 54,000 students in 33 elementary schools, 10 intermediate campuses, one high school program of choice, and 5 high schools.

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There are so many incredible individuals in the Klein Family making a lasting impact on our community. We want to recognize and celebrate our leaders and learners that are cultivating talent, building relationships, reimagining learning and making Promise2Purpose a reality daily. Share your story here:

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Align Our Compass

by Kathryn Vincent
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