A Place to Start

October 6, 2019

 

When you think about how you want to approach your work…where do you want to start? I know how I would answer that question, but if I’m being honest, the excitement and demands of the school year sometimes bump me into a lane I would not choose for myself. Or the students and staff I serve.

 

Other times, I feel as though the work I’m doing is being framed as one or the other when I know it should be about both

 

Our work in schools is a prime example of this. It can seem as though testing, accountability, and content are the only tool (i.e. hammer) in which we’ve been tasked to build better learning experiences with. While these things are important, I’m not sure we can ever build anything that lasts without starting with a meaningful connection. The heart of education isn’t about choosing accountability or relationships; it’s about how we bring both to our work. And being intentional with where we start and the order in which this is accomplished is important.

 

Some people much smarter than me could argue that in any relationship there must be accountability. Again, I don’t disagree, but I believe to my core that when we show up with love it looks, sounds, and feels much differently than starting in a different place. 

 

If you are somebody struggling with how to “show up” each day in a profession that can sometimes seem like it’s forcing you to over-rely on content and curriculum at the expense of the actual human beings you’re serving…you’re not alone. And there’s hope.

 

When we start with relationships our work together will know no bounds. And results will follow. Some of these results may not be the same metrics high-stakes tests measure, but their impact will transcend time. (This is something many great educators understand, but I think it’s okay to remind ourselves of what is right from time to time.) Reclaiming Our Calling is a book that can help you with how this might look, sound, and feel in your classroom or school. At the very least…it’s a good place to start and it just might be for you.

 

 

 

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Dr. Brad Gustafson is an elementary principal, author, and speaker. He believes schools can be spaces where creativity and innovation thrive, but only when we prioritize relationships and a relevant, connected pedagogy. 

 

Connect on email at:

AdjustingCourse@gmail.com

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