Day 2…thoughts and musings…

It’s been a busy and crazy day here in Baltimore. Great sessions on video, inclusion, and changing the mindset of the educational system in general. Really engaging.

I have been stopping groups of people and asking them what’s top of mind as they reflect on the day’s activities…here is a sampling:

In order to change lives, you have to have a capacity for change as a school and as an educator….

If you are going to commit to a diversity audit (or any other high level strategic undertaking) you have to be available and willing to commit the same organizational resources to the project that you would admission or development.

To be successful, you have to provide ample time for your teams to live the mission of the school, and not pay it lip service.

The effective classroom of the future has to move from teaching to learning. Students can’t be taught, but they can learn.

Wow….some really great and deep thoughts and takeaways from the presentations today. In fact, I would even say that much of these points drive home the need to focus on “the big picture” and on the STORY  of your school, and not just the nuts and bolts.

In a conversation with an admission professional, she was lamenting her schools emphasis on statistical “needs”, (ap classes, faculty size, etc) and not the real outcome for the kids on campus. It’s a fascinating difference, and as you try to differentiate your school in the market place, it’s VITAL to know when to be emotional and when to be intellectual.

So, we move on with the afternoon sessions, and keeping the day moving. Have a great Thursday!

From Idea to Vision to Values

It’s an amazing “spring” week here in Baltimore. By “spring”, I mean that the calendar has just flipped to March, and we aren’t shoveling out for our guests at NAIS and the annual conference. There is so much to look forward to this week, and I can’t wait to share the happenings and findings throughout my travels downtown. Baltimore is my city, my home, and my favorite place in the world. I really hope you enjoy your stay…

Some initial thoughts, however, are in order for the festivities. I’d like to think that people attending this show for the first time are not going to view Baltimore through the light cast from “The Wire” or “Homicide: Life on the Street”. As educators, we strive to give our students the chance to impress us every day with creativity, thought, and caring for fellow classmates. Hopefully, those new to Charm City will be taken in by what the city has to offer, and the amazing backdrop for this fantastic gathering of collegial thought.

I will really be focused on the “Vision” part of the annual conference theme, as I believe it to be positively vital to the future of our schools. The more leaders, teachers and administrators can implement their vision, independent education will be the true beneficiary of the time and talent invested.

It is my firm belief that mission statements for most schools are interchangeable. What truly separates one institution from the next is the way that its people LIVE the stated mission. I will be chasing down examples of how people are living their school’s ‘mantra’ throughout the week.

So, that’s a starting point. Welcome to Baltimore. It’s going to be a great week, and I can’t wait to hear what you come up with.

Some tips for your NAIS conference:

    Have coffee with someone you don’t know…expanding your knowledge footprint is a great thing.
    Get some fresh air…it’s a good thing.
    Check the app for updates. Times change, locations change.
    Be social. Not just on your phone, but with those around you.
    Have a crab cake. And a Berger cookie. And ask for Old Bay on your fries.

And, when you leave at the weekend, take with you 5 big takeaways. It’s a good starting point, but don’t let your conference notes die. This is a conversation, and it should go all year long with improving your school and yourself.

I will be around and looking forward to meeting as many of you as I can. Have a GREAT WEEK, and enjoy #NAISAC.