I believe it is vital to know what a school should never touch in order to ensure viability for the decisions that they might make regarding change. In my experience the bigger the proposed change, the more important it is to have a crystal clear idea of what not to touch.
I work with leaders and faculty members at independent schools to help them frame out a process for change… I am most interested in the means–a smarter process to hold the ambition of complex schools striving to make impactful change.
Today I am making a pledge to abandon that metaphor (“Abandon Ship!”) as it seems to give us a ready-made excuse for slowing down, or giving up on, priorities we have named as being mission-driven and strategic. The metaphor slows us down because it traps our thinking—it becomes an accurate metaphor because we have chosen to believe it. From now on schools are not big ships. Schools are challenging enough without having them have to be ships as well.
Soon my students and I will focus our attention on Sonnet 73. We have to wait for just the right day, and unfortunately for an English teacher trying to work with some sort of course plan, I cannot identify that day until it arrives on the lawn, buried in an assortment of leaves.