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A How to Match Our Why

communication constructive

by Aubrey Patterson

 

Jerry walked into the new principal's office and nonchalantly offered a leadership gem that would reframe every future conversation in the school about mission, vision, and values.

He shared a huge smile and opened with a simple, "I'm Jerry."

The new principal returned the smile, introduced himself, and asked awkwardly, “I’m sorry, Jerry, but what do you do?”

Jerry's face brightened even more. “I help the kids learn by keeping things clean around here and making sure everyone can get around safely."

A How to Match Our Why

How many adults in our schools could finish this stem?

I help kids learn by . . . . .

Perhaps we should let each adult complete a sentence that ties them to our current mission statement, our why, of the school or district.

I help kids learn and become an exceptional citizen in a vibrant school by . . . . .

Shouldn’t everyone working in education be able to complete these statements?

And shouldn't every current action, big or small, further actualize our why?

The computer technician helps kids learn by ensuring all the software updates are running today. The secretary helps kids learn by choosing a kind voice and keeping parents connected with a newsletter each week. The principal helps kids learn by giving clear directions in a meeting.

Imagine the clarity and synergy if we always had a how to match our why.

Epilogue

Jerry's introduction became part of hundreds of conversations in a district that aligned its hows and whys.

Now, Jerry is far from perfect as a custodian. The storeroom is a disaster, he cannot level a bulletin board, and he regularly forgets to lock the shed.

But the desks and lockers are spotless, the floors clean and dry, and he knows every one of the kids and staff by name.

He is good when and where it matters most.

Jerry helps kids learn.

 


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We understand time is tight and it's not always comfortable reaching out, so we promise that if you take 30 seconds to connect, you'll get a very quick and warm response. ☀️

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