With them

Geez, I’m lucky.

I’m currently collaborating with ACEL on their 2021 National Conference and it’s meant zooming with a few educational heroes of mine including Pasi Sahlberg, Michael Fullan, Pak Tee Ng and Mary Jean Gallagher.

I’ve tried – I suspect spectacularly unsuccessfully – to look cool in those zoom meetings.

Something simple that Mary Jean said in a speaker briefing this week stuck with me. She asked if we’re going to work with our stakeholders or for them, as the nation’s schools emerge from the great covid malaise.

It got me to thinking about where we go practically once that decision is made.

My sense of it is that, if we choose to work for, or on behalf, of our stakeholders (e.g., parents) then educators do the heavy lifting … once more. This is a transactional way of contemplating education where we trade outcomes for trust.

But if we work with our parents, we instead harness their contribution, rather than trade off it, and make the education of our kids more collective and communal.

It might be a simple linguistic distinction, but I suspect it’s not a small one.

And if you have any tips on how not to come off as some lame educational fanboy at the conference, hit me up!

Keep fighting that good fight,

PS. It’s not too late for any School Leaders reading this to get involved in the ACEL National Conference.  It has a distinct focus on equity and excellence and I’ve been so impressed with my peek behind the curtain. Register here.


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