I have been taking a MOOC focusing on inspirational leadership and the above video was the focus of one of the modules. After watching the video I had to sit for a while and just reflect because I didn’t know what else to do. Looking at some of Mr. Zander’s thoughts one thing I keep focusing on is the downward spiral. How often do we tell students that they are all starting with an A in class and it is their job to keep it. But what we have really told them is; hey you can’t get any better than right now, all you can do is work to not get worse. In a society that is so fixated on grades its no wonder students at the top are inclined to cheat and students at the bottom are inclined to just give up.
What if you started your school year with the philosophy of “you can give anyone and A!” How would that change your vision of students, the school year, and what was possible? Standing in the arena of possibilities, this is a powerful thing. Creating a shared vision that everyone in your school is a part of gives everyone a stake in the success and makes everyone feel like they are not just a part of the organization but an important part of the organization. That can also be a powerful motivation, believing that you are important. If we start our evaluations, of both students and teachers, off letting them know they are already and A, they just have to explain to us what they are going to do to get their how would that change the approach everyone takes towards school? Would that put education more towards the Positive Emotional Attractor and change everyone’s approach?
As you gear up for the school year what will your vision, not goals, be? Can you get yourself to move into the Michelangelo school of teaching?