Last year, as I was researching some activities I could use with my SCA members, I came across this “pep talk” by Robby Novack, an elementary school student also known as “Kid President”. Watching the video again this year – this time as a student and not just as a teacher – the message Kid President had to share with the world continued to resonate, but took on a different meaning.
“Life isn’t a game…but, if life is a game, aren’t we are on the same team – I’m on your team, be on my team…We can make every day better for each other. If we are on the same team, let’s start acting like it.” There is so much of an “us versus them” mentality when it comes to school leadership that it often prevents educators from achieving their goals. School administration and teachers must be on the same team in order to really make a difference. As leaders we need to make sure the rest of our team knows we are in this together. While the leader is important to the success of the group, the people who are willing to be led are just as important. Together Everyone Achieves More.
“Don’t stop believing…unless your dream is stupid…get a better dream then keep going and going and going.” So many times we have had something dictated to us from the top, then abandoned before it ever comes to fruition as our leaders move on to the next “dream”. As leaders we must establish a clear vision, one we are willing to see through until the end. While it may be necessary to change gears for the best interest of the group, the constant flip-flopping of what’s important and what’s not discredits the leader and doesn’t give the leader the buy-in from the rest of the team that is necessary to successfully implement the vision.
“We’ve got work to do. We can cry about it or we can dance about it…it’s everyone’s duty to give the world a reason to dance.” In the education field, it is very easy to become discouraged with all the work we have to do. We entered the teaching profession because we love our students and we want to make a difference in their lives, not because we love the meetings, the paperwork, and the testing (and the testing to prepare for the testing). As leaders it will be easy to get caught up in the tasks we must get done and to forget that the rest of our team is feeling the pressures of today’s education system as well. We need to build relationships with the members of our team so they feel the support of their (dance) partners and be willing to follow when it’s their turn to lead.
“Create something that will make the world awesome.” This is our challenge. Let’s travel down that path that leads to awesome. Making a difference in the lives of students is hard work, but it is AWESOME work. It is necessary work. It is our “Space Jam”. #BeAwesome