I just came across this article on NPR.org and thought it coalesced a lot of the thoughts I've had over the last few years. I know we've been discussing it as it relates to how we can reach kids, the many ways in which communication mediums have proliferated, and the erosion of personal communication skills.
we embark of the last six weeks of our academic year, I wanted to take a
moment and update you on the progress of our reconfiguration work. In
November and January, I sent Reconfiguration Status Reports outlining
the main components of Reconfiguration including the transition to the
middle school, staffing and scheduling, enhancing the middle school
program, and building community.
In the report below (see link), we will outline a new grading policy for the middle
school, update you on further decisions related to Reconfiguration, and
outline important dates for the 2012-2013 school year. Below you will
see a brief overview of the topics discussed in the report:
Grading Policies for Middle School
5th and 6th Grade Schedule and Gender Classes
Big Brother/Big Sister
Dress Like a Middle Schooler
Important 2012-2013 Dates
5th and 6th Grade Orientations
Sports Tryouts for 6th - 8th Grades
hope in this letter and status report is that you feel informed about
and invested in the experience your child will have once the 5th grade
moves into the middle school. Please email or call me with any questions
or input you may have.
David W. Skeen Jr. Middle School Director Canterbury School
Creativity, problem-solving, ingenuity, entrepreneurship - these are all 21st century skills we hope to enable in our students. In this video I found on Daniel Pink's blog, it is all there and more - in Caine, a 9 year old boy in East LA.
This year, we have spent significant time thinking about leadership at Canterbury. You may have seen Tricia Fisher's survey on the traits of leadership. Our immediate goal is to create an intentional curriculum of leadership development for our 7th and 8th grade which will be embedded in the weekly schedule.
Out of the work surrounding that goal came an idea of what leadership should look like at Canterbury. Our motto, To Learn, To Love, To Serve: To Live provides an excellent starting point. Michael McKinney recently wrote a blog post on his blog, Leading Blog, which summarizes nicely what we want out of our leadership curriculum. Please read below:
(I'm not really sure what the guy kissing the mini-giraffe has to do with his post, but...)
A Leader’s Most Dangerous Thought
Leadership is demanding. It takes a personal toll and if we are
not careful, we can begin to make it about us. It’s not a difficult
position to rationalize.
The problem with “I deserve” is that it changes our perspective.
We see our contribution as more important than anyone else’s
contribution. It creates a lack of proportion.
It leads to a wrong motivation for leadership: leadership as a
means to better get what we want. We see this all the time—the hypocrisy
of leadership—seeking positions of power while denying the real nature
of leadership. Service. And it is why we have seen far too many leaders
“I deserve” thinking threatens our ability to lead. It
diminishes our influence because it takes us out of the community; out
of the narrative. We no longer lead for the cause but only as a means to
serve ourselves. Side effects include distrust, cynicism, the wrong
kind competition and isolated thinking. Good leadership creates
connections and avoids points of disconnect.
The opposite of “I deserve” isn’t denying ourselves. We must
take care of our needs in the same way we take of the needs of others or
we will not be able to properly serve others.
The antidote is remembering that leadership is not a position
but a role. It’s a gift and it is temporary. It’s channeling all that we
are for the benefit of others.