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Beyond the Surface

Beyond the Surface

When you see a tree, do you consider what is below the surface? For most of us, what we see above the ground is each tree growing separately as its own unit. Recently, Michael Greenwalt from the Holdsworth Center shared this image of trees’ root systems with our cohort, and it really resonated with me.

Below the surface, trees of all species connect their roots to help one another grow. Trees hold each other together and truly build up other trees’ strength. They share their “knowledge” so that the other trees around them can be stronger. They don’t keep their best parts to themselves; they communicate so that every other tree may benefit from their strength.

This connects with our practice as educators on so many levels and directly relates to ways in which we live out our shared vision in Klein. Our commitment to “WE, not me; skillfully communicating with one another; and working interdependently to ignite and achieve our shared vision” are just a few examples. According to John Hattie’s research, collective efficacy has 1.57 effect size on student achievement. Collective teacher efficacy is the shared belief that educators have the ability to positively affect student learning. Why wouldn’t we want to work together in order to have the largest impact possible for our students?

As we approach a new week, let us take some time to reflect on trees and how they can relate to our teams as collaborative communities. Are we acknowledging and utilizing one another’s strengths? Do we exemplify the commitment to WE, not me? Is mutual accountability present? What can we do to come together to build each other up to benefit our students? After all, we are about EVERY student in our system exiting with a purpose, and it takes all of us together to ensure that for those we serve.


Klein ISD is AAA in Academics, Arts, and Athletics.

Best Public Schools in Texas
Klein ISD has an established 84-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 88 square miles and serves more than 53,000 students in 33 elementary schools, 10 intermediate campuses, one high school program of choice, and 5 high schools.

Help Us Share Your Story
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: