Can’t We All Just Get Along — One Can Only Imagine.

Take a mental step back, and open your mindset to this short video. You have to wonder if this is how many people in power behave in school systems. I’m not talking about school pride, our one’s love for their school community. I’m talking about your Ego!
Why do we allow our ego to prevent us from really making a difference in the education system?

Recently, I had the distinct opportunity to sit on the Town Hall Panel, at ISTE, that focused on student empowerment. Throughout the conversations with incredible thought leaders in the field of education, and one common theme arose: collaboration.

Yes, we have heard this term thousands of times, yet, I continue to ask, do we really understand its power? Why do so many continue to ignore being “connected” and run their schools the traditional way?

During the panel discussion, I stated that this past year (one of the most surreal years in my professional career), my school hosted over 57 groups of visitors, blogged nonstop and shared as much as we could. We opened our doors to every school, university, and education professional from across the globe that inquired. When I stated that we opened our doors to build relationships with professionals, at no cost, it caught the attention of the crowd. I stated that we purposely wanted to work with everyone that we could to better all students, regardless of where they lived or regardless of the political mandates. We put an emphasis on working together for the betterment of students, because it’s about them, them, them, instead of me, me, me!

The crowd cheered, and yet I couldn’t help to think, why this simple message went such a long way.

Then I remembered to personally take a step back and realize that not every person of authority in a school system actually does what we do.

Sad but true, ego gets in the way of really making an impact. So for those that are still struggling with this, perhaps the following can assist:

  • Check your ego at the door! Last time we checked, no one is successful when lead by micromanagers, ego driven, and/or fear driven leaders. Recently, I started reading, “Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday. Highly Recommend!
  • All BOE members, administrators, teachers, and staff need to put their egos/personal agendas aside! It’s about all students, not just your agenda!
  • Open your school doors to visitors. Be proud of what you do each day, be willing to have a growth mindsets, and realize that everyone can learn something new.
  • Most of us only visit two schools, one that we work at and one that we take our own kids to. Visit other schools and start collaborating.
  • Call the schools in the surrounding area over to work with them, instead of trying to out “do/spend” them. Why are we constantly competing against each other instead of working with each other? If they turn you down, keep moving forward and be proud that you reached out. Eventually, people will catch on and realize they should be working together, not against.
  • Phone, email, and/or use social media and contact people outside of your select friend group. Why not open up to new resources to achieve something greater for all schools involved?
  • Engage in deep, meaningful conversations, instead of small talk at conferences. Ask the right questions, and you will see the real leaders to follow.
  • Envision what you want your students and staff to experience when they enter your school. Why do we continue living in hedonic adaptation? Your students and staff deserve moments of awe that cause rapture!
  • Base your informed decisions on what’s best for your students and staff. Don’t just listen to one voice with a bias view.
  • “Base decisions off your best people, not your worst.” Todd Whitaker

Dig Deep:

Take a moment and ask yourself, “why did I join the field of education?”

Now ask yourself, why do many of us enjoy competing and fighting like children, instead of trying to work together to better all children.

How will you rise up, remove your ego, and make a real change?