In Start with Why, Simon Sinek writes,
“The role of the leader is not to come up with all of the great ideas. The role of the leader is to create an environment in which great ideas can happen.” ( p. 99)
I am extremely excited to share a few components of our district’s new roadmap. Over the past 6 months, we have been meeting and collecting feedback from our community, our staff, and our students. We’ve heard about things we have done very well, heard about areas we need to improve, and listened to ideas that will take us into the future! From this work, a new 5 year strategic plan has been developed. This may be some of the MOST invigorating work I have been a part of!
Our Mission Statement: Learn. Share. Innovate. Inspire.
I have to admit, I feel these 4 words encompass who I am and why I come to work every day. These 4 words ARE my passion. Yes, some days are better than others – but as I reflect on our culture at Byron – I think this statement delivers on why we do the business we do. In education, our main objective is our clients, our students – but I also feel these words should connect equally with our staff and our community as well.
By 2018, Byron Public Schools will be recognized as a leading, renowned school system in the world by:
- Challenging the status quo and developing new norms for education
- Leveraging real world tools & skills to develop a passion for learning
- Developing students that demonstrate outstanding character
- Creating a safe school environment that is happy, healthy & caring
- Utilizing purposeful technology to develop 21st century learning and skills.
These are some very powerful statements and I believe my district can achieve all of them. I will say, for my personal perspective that the first statement really hits the nail on the head. We can not continue to provide traditional education in a digitized world. It doesnt make sense. Just today I was able to see Will Richardson’s slides from his #ISTE13 keynote presentation. While I was not physically at ISTE this year, this slide deck certainly struck a very deep chord with me! I believe our district is on the right track!
We also have 7 new priorities of focus.
- Personalize learning for all students
- Promote and provide applied learning experiences within the school and community
- Develop well-rounded students in the areas of character, community, and academics
- Ignite and inspire students to explore their passions and share their talents
- Maximize the personal and professional potential of all staff
- Maintain excellence in resource management
While I feel we have COLLECTIVELY created our Why in our mission and some of the What in our vision statements – Our priorities will help us develop the How. Teams of district stakeholders will be creating action plans under each priority. It was very difficult for me to choose what team to be on because I was inspired by so many ! In the end, I chose to partner with others and form a team around Priority 4 - Ignite and inspire students to explore their passions and share their talents.
A little bit about our Priority 4 journey. It was important for our team to understand the ideas around passionate learning. It is a concept that has recently received quite a bit of recognition – especially in the twitterverse and blogosphere. I felt it was important to introduce the team to the concept so I created my top 10 resource list for our team to review prior to our 1st meeting.
Hegna’s top 10 resources to support Passion Based Learning
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jZHNjc4Xk0 (Watch the student Valedictorian speech)
Hack Schooling – 13 year old Ted Talk - https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=h11u3vtcpaY
Guidelines for Passion Based Learning - http://www.angelamaiers.com/2011/07/guidelines-of-passion-based-learning.html by Angela Maiers
20% Classroom (Video) by Kevin Brookhouser
User Generated Education by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.
Stillwater Public Schools - Thttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbUkkJ-8hNU&feature=youtu.behe Need for Passion
Edutopia Passion Based Learning http://www.edutopia.org/blog/passion-based-learning-ainissa-ramirez by Aisissa Ramirez
Stop Stealing Dreams – Seth Godin Ted Talk - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&list=PLNcDI8gzH0SpU4j8xJ3hY9aWRfko-LBr1&v=sXpbONjV1Jc#t=904s
Gallup Results – Student engagement decreases with each year http://thegallupblog.gallup.com/2013/01/the-school-cliff-student-engagement.html
Washington Post – If Students designed their own school it would look like this http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/02/20/if-students-designed-their-own-school-it-would-look-like-this/?tid=pm_local_pop
We had great discussions and really had to stretch our minds. Since then, some of our “blue sky” ideas have formulated into action steps and measures. We are almost there! I am so excited! With any change (especially in edu) there will be roadblocks we will have to conquer. We WILL FAIL. But we will also WIN. I can not wait to begin to walk the talk. We have had a tremendous amount of planning, planning, planning. But now Its GO TIME!