Tuesday, September 2, 2008

You don't have to be mean to hold people accountable...

Every once in awhile someone says something that sticks, those golden moments that resonate for days afterward and I found that I have to write them down in my notebook immediately so that I can read them later. Actually, the real reason I have to write them down is so that I can remember. More often than not, my rememberer is broken down.

By the way, my notebook is of the ordinary variety and I usually have it available at all times. One never knows when the opportunity to "steal" words passes by and when not placed on the page, something is lost in translation.

And that is what I did recently at a meeting. I wrote them down. I was awestruck, not necessarily from the words themselves, though this surely had an effect, but even more than that, from whom the words were spoken. In my long tenure in the educational field, I believe only one other person of this stature had spoken such a sentiment before.

It was a training session for building principals as the focus curricular wise was unveiled. It was the second time in twenty five years I actually witnessed an individual in this position stay throughout a presentation, participant in the discussion as a part of the group, rather than apart from or leave midstream for "other important business" to attend to. It spoke volumes.
So, back to the title, when the Superintendent spoke these words, "you don't have to be mean to hold people accountable" I immediately thought of all the times that the opposite unfolded and then I wondered what transformative possibilities might occur if everyone took these words to heart. Something we all need to think about and our words, followed by action, will go along way in making the world a better place. One more construct to think about in the days ahead. Until next time, remember, don't be mean...Teach

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