by Ross Peters, Managing Partner, EXPLO Elevate
The rhythm of the school year is powerful–a tide we take for granted. Pushing and pulling us to and fro, we begin to assume it is the way it has always been and always will be.
This, among other things, is why the last couple of years have shocked our systems–both individual and collective–as powerfully as any moment in our lifetime.
To stretch the metaphor out further, worldwide the ocean level has not simply risen higher than usual, the tide itself has changed in the world so that it now includes (to name a couple of factors) an unpredictable and politically divisive pandemic, as well as long avoided conversations about equity that require self-reflection, open hearts, and deep listening in significant measure. Many days, if not most, these characteristics and abilities seem to be falling short of the demand requisite of the moment.
For educators, the pain is particularly poignant, and at EXPLO Elevate, we see and hear about it in myriad ways from school leaders and teachers. Each day feels like more than simply a high tide beneath a full moon–instead, the tide is operating with a rhythm we no longer recognize–rather than a steady backbeat, it has become something laid down by a jazz drummer.
Schools are impacted to a stunning degree because adults and students in schools are so fully immersed in culture, schedule, and calendar that they know little else. Additionally, school people often operate with basic expectations for human interaction that are threatened, if not endangered. Civility too often seems to be an early drowning victim of our new tide.
At EXPLO Elevate, we are ready to fall in love with the jazz of an ever-changing context for our schools. We strive to hold on to what should never change in education and open our eyes wide enough to see beyond the next wave of challenges. We commit to sharing thinking, both philosophical and practical, with you. Linked below in this newsletter are details about our new strategic planning workshop as well as two new pieces by Elevate Senior Consultant Elise London. There is more coming.
There are moments in a rough sea when, at the end of a gale or the peak of a swell, we catch sight of the wide horizon. At EXPLO, Elevate helps schools see that wide horizon and set their compasses for it. Call on us anytime–we are ready.
“Supporting School Leaders Through Strategic Change”
on August 17-19 at the New England Innovation Academy. Learn more!
Out on a High Wire:
Elise London outlines the different types of leadership department heads need to balance in order to best support faculty.
The 4 C’s
Why school administrators should tune their focus to clarity, compensation, collaboration, and celebration!