Why Are We Here? #LeadershipDay14

At our Back to School Leadership gathering I asked the team in the district where I am superintendent one question, “why are we here?”  A simple question, right? Some might say so. But I believe it’s a grand challenge to define ourselves as the leaders we need to be in 2014. Why do we come to work every day? To collect a paycheck?  Make sure our schools like clockwork? Ensure kids pass state tests? Implement the Common Core?

I don’t think so.

20140601-093459-34499043.jpgInstead, I believe our work is about educating our children for life, not for school. And the nature of life in 2020, 2030, 2040, and 2050 and so on can’t even be projected with accuracy based on what we know today.

We do know our children will grow up to live in a world with all the grand challenges that Planet Earth can throw at them – war, disease, famine, water shortages, global climate change – and all the cultural changes that technology acceleration and physical migration brings to our lives.

We also know our children will live in families, workplaces, communities, and nations as humans always have – albeit Gen Y and Z  will likely experience more than a few of each across a lifetime. Does the context and content of typical schooling today prepare children entering kindergarten in 2014 at age 5 for their world forty years later?

I bet not.


Skyping with Friends 

I shared with the leadership team when we gathered together that technology changes the world in every century. The tall ship and the printing press. The telegraph and the train. The plane and the phone. Twitter and YouTube. Communication and transporting technologies that move people and information around the globe impact civilization. As the technology changes, what humans know and can do changes. Learning changes. The world changes.




Why are we here?

I believe we’re  here to help children and the teachers who serve them to flourish not just function or as @fredbartels said in twitter to me recently about the role of school leaders:

fred bartelsWe all flourish when we work to create spaces for learning so that the people we serve will thrive and prosper or as Merriam Webster online puts it to “grow luxuriantly.”

in 2014, this means we must mindfully and with passion:

  • provide universal access to the world as a source of learning,
  • open pathways with interactive technologies and connectivity that didn’t even exist ten years ago,
  • make passion-based learning a way of learning for all, not just a few,
  • model an open mindset for lifelong learning.

That’s why we are all here; to lead so our children flourish.

Nothing more. Nothing Less.

Now and forever more.

Leadership Academy

Young Leaders At Work



8 thoughts on “Why Are We Here? #LeadershipDay14

  1. Ms. Moran, I agree with your slight edit of Mr. Bartels’ tweet. I think our goal should be to help young people flourish in every aspect of their lives. If we do that, then they will flourish in their jobs, too.

    • Thanks for that – Fred really caught my attention that we as leaders need to see our roles as essential to creating spaces where learning and learners flourish – adults and children alike.

    • Jon,

      That really hit me – I remember loving the terms flotsam and jetsum in an oceanography class long ago – we have a lot floating through our schools or debris as you said. Need to sweep it away and get back to what matters most – caring, connecting, interacting as we learn together.

  2. Pingback: Why Are We Here? #LeadershipDay14 | Educational...

  3. Thank you for for your post, Ms. Moran. I am hoping to expand this very notion of nourishing learners to flourish in the world by extending lifelong learning possibilities within organizational learning and through ways that leaders might expand the way of learning for their employees. “Why are we here today” is a great question each leader (and teacher) might ask themselves every day, thereby creating a habit of servant leadership (and teacher-ship) awareness. Thank you!

  4. Pingback: Weekly Education Links (weekly) | A Principal's Life

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