What do I stand for?


I was listening to a podcast with John Hattie not too long ago and one of his new focuses is on daily professional conversations with colleagues and the impact a teacher has on student learning every single day.  My last post was named intentionED and I still think that is really important to have daily intentions as a way to prime the pump, but we also need to reflect on our actual daily impact on student learning.  And not our perception of our impact, our actual impact.  This would require us to obtain feedback from others; students, colleagues, parents. Do you dare ask others for feedback? What is your daily impact?

One way to help you live in alignment with your daily intentions and impact would be to examine your core values.  Organizations are made up of people. Often we receive someone else’s vision, mission and no one has asked us about our own beliefs and values. At the end of the day, it is those individuals carrying out their own individual values, not necessarily the organization or district values.

I think as an adult and a student for that matter it is really important to know your values.  First, you can look at a list of values. Elena Aguilar has a really beautiful list here. Next you can circle the ones that really stand out and mean something to you.  I like to write all the words on Post-it notes. Then I put them into categories, look for patterns and trends, you will see some commonalities.  The idea is to sieve through the words and get down to your top 3-5 values.

Next, reflect how your daily actions and your speech align with your values?  Are you living in alignment? Would others know what you stand for? Ask them.

This is a really great activity to do with staff, colleagues, friends, and students in your classroom.  It is really important to know your own values and also the values of others. This can be a breakthrough tool when collaborating and working together. We see each other in a different way, we learn to look at each other differently.  We learn to honor each other in a new way. I often sing the praises of EL Education schools. They have a set of 10 founding principles (scroll down to the bottom) that guide their schools and I am telling you they are so profound and compelling, just read them.  Students learn solid values and know what they stand for. They are getting quite a different, meaningful education than most and ELs model is something we can all learn from.

My top three core values are 1. Meaningful work  2. Family and 3. Joy.  I am doing my best daily to live in alignment with these values and remind myself when I set my daily intentions, that these are at the core of my being and this is who I want to be. I reflect on am I making am impact? How do I know?

intentionED and impactED educators know their core values and live in alignment with them. All students have the right to examine their core values and what better place than at school to discover them and learn about others values.  Then maybe, we can learn to understand and tolerate each other more.  Something our culture can certainly benefit from now more than ever.

What do you stand for?