As we continue to refine and adjust our Vision of a Graduate, the focus remains on the skills, characteristics and attributes needed to succeed in an ever changing world. “What is needed is a new definition of being smart, one that promotes higher levels of human thinking and emotional engagement. The new smart will be determined not by what or how you know but by the quality of your thinking, listening, relating, collaborating, and learning. Quantity is replaced by quality. And that shift will enable us to focus on the hard work of taking our cognitive and emotional skills to a much higher level.” This quote comes from an interesting (and fairly short) article titled, In the AI Age, “Being Smart” Will Mean Something Completely Different. How will our current and future students define “smart” for themselves and others?
Over the weekend I was reading an article about Google and their Project Aristotle, a study conducted to assess the skills necessary to reach success at Google based on significant data regarding hiring, firing and promotions in the company. “Project Aristotle shows that the best teams at Google exhibit a range of soft skills: equality, generosity, curiosity toward the ideas of your teammates, empathy, and emotional intelligence. And topping the list: emotional safety. No bullying. To succeed, each and every team member must feel confident speaking up and making mistakes. They must know they are being heard.” The question to ponder is how do we help to foster this environment for our students and faculty so that everyone feels the emotional safety to take risks, step out of comfort zones, and feel heard? How do we ensure that every student feels safe to explore, create and innovate at HHS?
Advocacy and fostering student voice is such a critical part of the school and the students felt heard and supported by the faculty and their peers. Attached to this email is an article titled “Better By Design. Students blend empathy and experimentation to impact environment through design thinking.” The article is a fairly quick read discussing design thinking and its connection to student voice. The article is also a nice fit with the redesign we are engaged in for Vision of a Graduate.
A colleague sent me an interesting article about the difference between a performance culture and a growth culture and I thought I would share it with you. “A performance culture asks, “How much energy can we mobilize?” and the answer is only a finite amount. A growth culture asks, “How much energy can we liberate?” and the answer is infinite.” Every day we are contributing to the culture of the school and individual classrooms and it takes hard work and a willingness to be vulnerable in the face of new challenges that propel us forward.