Saturday, February 27, 2016

On Becoming Indispensable

Seth Godin's Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? provided me a thought-provoking opportunity to take stock of my own contribution to my school and our students.  As with any good read, my underlining pen nearly went dry - there were so many points I wanted to mark for future reference.

We live in a world that leverages talent; there is little room for cogs, trained to complete a rote job. So I have to ask myself, am I leveraging my talent to become indispensable?

Are we, as a school, training cogs, those who will be "merely good, merely obedient, and merely reliable?"  Are we training cooks, those who can follow a recipe, or are we developing chefs, those who will create the recipe? The Georgia Standards of Excellence, and their predecessor, Common Core, aim for the latter; the creative genius in our students can be realized only with significant instructional shifts in the classroom.

Godin writes, "Yesterday's remarkable is today's really good and tomorrow's mediocre." In the case of a charter school, accountability is existence.  Remaining on the cutting edge - being remarkable - is a necessity.  Losing traction is an open door to defeat.

He continues, "The only way to succeed is to be remarkable, to be talked about."  With the recent renewal of our charter, these thoughts resonate with me, and I hope they resonate with our faculty. The path to excellence is not static; it is ever-changing, and we must be ever-growing to meet the challenge of educating our students for a 21st century global economy.  What worked last year, or five years ago, simply isn't enough anymore.

Do we {I} possess the passion, the "desire, insistence and willingness ...  relentless[ness for] doing important work?"  Linchpins, he writes, "embrace the lack of structure and find a new path, one that works" and as a troubleshooter, "steps in when everyone else has given up, puts himself on the line, and donates the energy and the risk to the cause."

It's time to adjust the sails, to right the ship.  The challenge lies ahead. Let's tackle it full speed.

Will our school become a linchpin, an indispensable entity in the educational landscape?






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