Friday, April 27, 2012

What We Have Here: A Failure to Communicate

Nelson Ching/Bloomberg via Getty Images
I just came across this article on 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.

Check it Out: What We Have Here: A Failure to Communicate

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Canterbury Lacrosse: 8th Grade Last Home Game

I will be sorry to see these guys go at the end of this year. They have been a huge part of establishing the program. You can see they are a pretty fun group to work with as well....

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Reconfiguration Report: April 2012

18 April 2012

Dear Parents,

As 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:

  1. Grading Policy
    1. General
    2. Honor Roll
    3. Grading Policies for Middle School
  2. Reconfiguration Updates
    1. Parent Portal
    2. Language Selection
    3. 5th and 6th Grade Schedule and Gender Classes
    4. Big Brother/Big Sister
    5. Dress Like a Middle Schooler
  3. Important 2012-2013 Dates
    1. 5th and 6th Grade Orientations
    2. Sports Tryouts for 6th - 8th Grades
    3. Trips

My 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

Reconfiguration Report: April 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Mean...This is What it is All About

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.

Check it out: Caine's Arcade

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Some Thoughts on Leadership at Canterbury

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

I deserve
“I deserve.”

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 derail.

“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.

Leadership is something we live, for others.