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!