Mike's Monday Message


Gerry Brooks

Watch and listen to this video! Gerry Brooks is a school principal in Lexington, Kentucky. His message is simple, funny and so true. I think you will love his presentation! (And it's short.)
Important Info for All!

Authentic, Serve Appreciation

It's all about culture. Data, curriculum and assessment scores are important but if we don't have a positive and authentic culture we will be spinning our wheels. Culture is the way we think, act and interact. There are numerous things that add to a culture of a school district, school and classroom. Here are three that I find important:

1. Be authentic and vulnerable. The only agenda we should have is how to help our students achieve their potential and have a purpose they can have hope in. Sharing celebrations, frustrations, failures and creative ideas can take being vulnerable. Being vulnerable is healthy and not a weakness. Brene Brown says vulnerability is the emotion we experience during times of uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. It's having the courage to show up and fully engage. When we do that, culture is strengthened. I was in a pre - observation meeting with a principal and a teacher recently and the teacher said, "I'm doing something new so I don't know how it is going to turn out, but I really want your feedback on it." Wow! Vulnerability and Growth Mindset all in one sentence. Love it!

2. Serve. Depending on our role, we are here to serve students, staff, administrators and the school board. The best leaders (and we are all leaders in some capacity) know that to excel at leadership is to empower the people they serve. Encouraging or building the skills of those we work with is an important characteristic. Ultimately, empowering our students to take the initiative for their own learning is where we would like them to be. This makes for a strong culture of learning.

3. Appreciation. There is zero risk in showing appreciation for the work of others. Russell Wilson, QB and leader for the Seattle Seahawks, does this well in interviews. I always hear him praise and give credit to the lineman, the defense or his receivers. Rarely, if ever, does he take credit for the success of the team. He's all about Team. This is a culture we all can thrive in.

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