I had the pleasure of learning at the Future Ready Superintendent Leadership Network where a panel of 5 innovative superintendents reflected on their vision of public schools in the coming 20 years as well as the change that must be made to transform that vision into a reality. Steve Waddell and Jeff Turner reflected on their work and shared a powerful thought that leaders must always remember if they truly want to create schools that lead kids to the future they deserve.
If we want to create the kinds of schools that truly prepare kids for the future, it is high time that we eliminate the excuse of "Enough".
If you think about it, they're right. This barrier of scarcity is something that we too readily claim as the reason we can't move forward when in fact it is merely a figment of our imagination. Here are just few "Enough" statements that prevent schools, leaders and educators from moving forward, and some of my thoughts on these obstacles to organizational improvement.
We don't have enough time.
The fact is you have the exact same amount of time as high performers. Identify where you are wasting time, and you'll find enough time.
We don't have enough money.
There are countless examples of high performers who had less money and resources. How are you optimizing what you currently have? Answer that question before making the decision to spend more.
We don't have enough personnel.
This is the same as money. Schools with fewer personnel achieve high performance through synergy of professional growth through ongoing collaboration. Are you truly working as a professional learning community at work that is focused with laserlike precision on improving the adults in the building?
We don't have enough parent support.
Educators control 90% of the factors that impact student learning, so blaming parents means that you don't own the potential of your own impact. What are you doing to build the optimal relationships with your parents before you need to access them to help with their children?
We don't have enough information.
Lack of information is a real thing, but the stalwarts of the status quo use this as their main reason to say, "we can't abandon the comforts of today to create the classrooms of tomorrow because we need more information".
Enough is Enough!
Enough is Enough!
The fact of the matter is that we have enough if not way too many excuses that stop us from reaching our goals for school improvement. The question is not if we're going to say enough is enough. The question is whether we will be so focused on guaranteeing that every kid learns that you won't even allow these excuses a seat at your table of continuous improvement.