The Jewish Education Olde Thyme Radio Hour: “Conversations We Aren’t Having” w/Jonathan Cannon

Believe it or not, but our earliest schools are wrapping up this week and the rest will be doing the same in the weeks to come.  We, too, will be transitioning into summer modes of communication.  Last week, I shared the results of our first-ever Annual Membership Survey.  And in the weeks to come, we will lay out more detail about our programmatic agenda for next year and how feedback may have played into our decision-making process.

In the meanwhile, let me express my sincere thanks to the good folks at ELI Talks and ELI on Air for letting me and my good friend Rabbi Marc Baker experiment with a podcast pilot this year.  I have said before that just the time we spent prepping for the podcasts and conducting them was more than sufficient for me to deem the experiment a success.  But we do have ambition larger than finding an excuse to think together…

Our goals for the podcast’s future include…

  • Being more interactive – our goal is for the podcast to feel more like a “talk show” and less like…um…a “podcast”.  This means we need to be more aggressive/inspirational/inviting/encouraging in order to weave people’s questions, comments and contributions into the podcast itself.  We know (hope) you are out there listening…now we need you to be part of the action.
  • Relevance.  Strong topics and strong guests.  We want to bring you ideas and people you really want to talk to and hear from.
  • Edutainment.  We want this to be fun – for us and for you!  Finding a way to balance serious conversation with having a good time is what it is all about.

Have we gotten any better at the above?  Check out our most recent podcast and let us know!  Feel free to comment here on my blog or on the podcast page itself!

The Storify of #edJEWcon LA 2014

I think it is reasonable to conclude that Storify has become my preferred method of documenting my learning from professional development conferences and experiences.  I like how visual it is and I love how easy it is to preserve the links to all my learning.

We had a wonderful experience on Monday in Los Angeles and I am pleased to amplify the learning by inviting you into its story.  I hope our learning inspires more learning, more reflection, and more sharing.

http://storify.com/Jon_Mitzmacher/the-storify-of-edjewcon-la-2014

The Transparency Files: Evaluation of Self

This week was Yom Ha’Shoah, the day on the Jewish Calendar where we pause to remember the events of the Holocaust and the memories of all who perished therein.  Next week we will celebrate Yom Ha’Zikaron, the day on the Jewish Calendar where we commemorate Israel’s Memorial Day, and Yom Ha’Atzmaut, the day on the Jewish Calendar where we celebrate Israeli Independence Day.

It is a remarkable juxtaposition of days – a complete 180 degrees of emotion that takes place with a click of the second hand and, in Israel, the siren’s call. Unlike in the States where Memorial Day for many (although less and less the last fifteen years) is spent enjoying beaches, barbecues and sales; in Israel no one is untouched by war’s destruction and all pause to personally mourn.

We know – firsthand and through social media – all the amazing programs, commemorations, projects and celebrations that have and will take place in Schechter schools whose love and support for Israel are baked into their DNA.  We will do our part to collect, catalog and share out to you and the field those images and words during this very special week in our schools.

In the meanwhile…

ucm206324Like many of you, we too, are using this time of year to solicit feedback, reflect and plan for the future.  In this first year of the “new Schechter” each season brings new challenges and first-time opportunities. Here, too, we are faced with our first opportunity to evaluate ourselves and to ask for feedback from our key stakeholders.  On the latter point, please look for an invitation to provide us with your feedback and suggestions on how this year has gone and ways we can improve to better meet the needs of our schools and the field in this interesting and exciting new year to come.

So…how have I done this year?

🙂

Well, honestly, I am not entirely sure!

In my first two blog posts in this new role, I tried to lay out a vision and provide some content for what I hoped Schechter would begin to become.  But, I would have to go back to my very first year as a head of school to find the last time I was in the position of everything being so completely new for me.  I will have to look forward to next year to find comfort in the rhythm and routine of a yearly calendar and knowing what to expect and what to do when.  This year?  Not so much!

The best way I know how to make sense of what I have done and ways I can do better is to revisit some of the planning documents created as part of our rebirth and see how well (or not) I have helped bring the agenda to life.

Like any self-evaluation, it is not intended to be exhaustive, but illustrative.  [There are also aspects of my job performance, fundraising for example, that require greater discretion.]  And unlike my past evaluations, this one does not come with comparative external survey data.  Not because I don’t wish to have that data, but because we have not yet developed the instrument to collect it!  This self-evaluation is more “self” than normal as a result, but I hope still helpful.

Relationship Building

A huge component to this year’s work was simply reintroducing ourselves to our schools and field.  Prior to this year, we lacked the bandwidth to physically visit and, sometimes, even virtually visit our schools to the degree necessary to truly serve.  I am proud that over the last nine months, we have physically reached over thirty schools.  I have done much of it myself (over twenty site visits) and it has been undoubtedly the best and most important work I have done this year.  To see schools in action and to spend time with the incredibe professional and lay leaders who run them is a never-ending source of inspiration.  I have learned so much about our schools and even more about how we can better serve them because of these visits.

In addition to the site visits, we have spoken many, many times with each of our schools during this year and have had ample opportunity to share resources and field questions and concerns. I would rank renewing our relationships among our biggest successes this year.  I would also commit ourselves (and me) to finishing the work by aiming to have visited each school in person by the end of next year.

Board Development

We had two critical tasks with regard to the board this year.  Making the transition to independence required growing a philanthropic lay board, and under the leadership of our first-time board chair Dara Yanowitz and our Development Director, Alisha Goodman, we have nearly hit our benchmarks in recruiting new members.  Although we have some geographic diversity, a goal for the future is to ensure even better representation from all of our key demographics.  The second task was to transition the prior “board” – largely made up of professionals – to a “Professional Advisory Board” in order to provide us with a sounding board for new ideas, a safe place for workshopping difficult discussions and decisions, and to receive critical feedback from the field.  Under the guidance of our Associate Director, Ilisa Cappell, we have been enriched by the work of the Professional Advisory Board and look to involve them even more deeply in the year to come to always be sure the work we do serves the greater good.

Placement

This was a new experience for us all!  We have been active partners with all our schools going through transition.  We played a more active role in schools who conducted their searches in-house, as to be expected, but worked with all our schools and many candidates to the best of our ability.  I am very pleased that all our new heads (whether new to Schechter or new to the headship) will receive appropriate coaching and mentoring in the year to come to ensure smooth transitions for all.  That was a top priority for us.  We learned a lot from this first experience and are confident we will be even better prepared to help schools and professionals on similar journeys next season.

Field Collaborations

Whether it is the work laid out in this announcement or more modest collaborations with our sister networks and other organizations, I think Schechter’s reemergence has served as a catalyst for new relationships.  Our work with the Jewish Montessori Society has created new relationships which we hope will yield fruit in the year to come.  Our contributions to the planning and facilitation of this year’s North American Jewish Day School Conference, especially the “Small School Track” championed by our own Ilisa Cappell and RAVSAK‘s Dr. Marc Kramer, we believe helped make the conference a success.  We have gladly marketed programs and contests that serve the needs of our schools regardless of who created them and have had our programs and contests gladly marketed by others.  We look forward to only more and more in the year to come.

Thought Leadership

I would have liked to have achieved more in this area.  Although a few articles were published, I don’t think we did enough to clarify for the field who we are and what we believe to be true.  This blog is one attempt.  This podcast is another.  But on the whole I think we got swallowed up by organizational growth, program and other business and we were unable to dedicate enough time to this.  We also need to do a much better job curating the thought leadership being done so well by our school leaders and positioning those school leaders to take on even more thought leadership in the future.

 

What about “Program” you may ask?

At 1300 words and counting, this is probably not the best time to begin a review of all the new programs we launched this year!  Especially because they are the things we have written the most about.  I will say that we are in the process of reviewing the successes and failures of all our programs and initiatives and I will surely report back here what we discovered and to lay out our programmatic agenda for 2015-2016.

As always, I welcome your thoughts, feedback, questions and concerns.  Feel free to comment publicly or email me privately (jmitzmacher@schechternetwork.org) and let me know how you think I am doing.  I really want to know.

Here’s Why I Am a Candidate on the MERCAZ Slate

herzl-color-8x11-09I had decided weeks ago to dedicate this week’s blog to the upcoming World Zionist Organization’s (WZO) elections (voting currently open) and my feelings about being on the MERCAZ  slate for the very first time.  I had no intention of engaging in discussion about the elections in Israel or using this platform to compare and contrast our ability to influence the Jewish future in Israel and abroad through either election process.

And I still don’t.

There continues to be a vigorous conversation about both the manner and outcome of Israel’s elections.  I am following it with all the passion I possess for Israel.  I am reading and reflecting on where we are and what it all means – for Israel, for the Jewish People, for pluralism and for peace.  As a private individual, I feel very comfortable sharing my feelings.  Just last evening, I had the pleasure of participating in a heated debate about Israel amongst friends at a local bar.  (I imagine it was one of the few conversations about Israel taking place at that bar, or any bar, in Jacksonville that evening.)  However, as a public individual, I feel equally comfortable admitting that I lack both the expertise and the standing to use this space to weigh in.

Reality check.

It is because I am the Executive Director of the Schechter Day School Network that I am a candidate on the MERCAZ slate for elections to the WZO.  It is a function of my positional authority, not my personal expertise, that I may be in position to serve.  This doesn’t mean that I am not taking it seriously.  I am!  I have learned things about MERCAZ and the WZO that I honestly should have already known without having to be put on the slate. This also doesn’t mean that I am not excited about it.  I am!  I am inspired about the mission, platform, and achievements of MERCAZ and its partner organizations.

It should come as no surprise, however, that as an educator what I am most proud/excited/inspired by is the incredible opportunity to help grow the TALI Network of Schools – a sister network if there ever was one.

Here is why Israel needs TALI:

Every Jewish child in Israel deserves a Jewish education. But most go without.

Jews in Israel are deeply divided along religious and secular fault-lines – a divide that tears at the fabric of Israeli society. For sixty years, this division has been fostered by Israel’s school system which operates only two educational streams: religious and secular.

Yet most Jewish Israelis define themselves as neither Orthodox nor secular, but as traditional. They identify with Jewish culture and heritage, but feel alienated by a rigid, politicized religious establishment. By sending their children to secular public schools, most Israeli parents have forfeited their children’s right to a Jewish education.

TALI brings Jewish learning to the secular Israeli classroom, connecting pupils with their heritage, and educating towards religious pluralism in the Jewish state.

This quote comes directly from the TALI page on the Schechter Institute website.  Although there are many differences between public TALI schools in Israel and private Schechter schools in North America, this statement of need serves as a powerful reminder of how critical it is that the center – the mercaz – does, in fact, hold. TALI is more than a network of schools in Israel.  It is a thought-leader and program-provider to the field of Jewish education.  TALI is critical to growing a pluralistic future in Israel.  Schechter schools are already in relationship with TALI schools and I hope this relationship only deepens in the years to come.  I am inspired by TALI’s accomplishments and can only dream of what it could become with access to greater resources.

So, yes, the reason I am on the slate is because of my job.  But the reason I am enthusiastic and honored to be on the slate is because of the mission.  If you are similarly inspired, I hope you, too, will join me this year in a…

Vote Mercaz

“Uncommon Connections” – Looking Past the 2015 NAJDSC – What Happens “Right Now”?

The 2015 North American Jewish Day School Conference has only been over for a couple of days, and I am already thinking about the future…

But before the future, I bit of a recap on the past and the present…

Last week, before the conference, I blogged about my hopes and expectations, ending with:

We are proud of the work we have done with our sister networks to create what we hope will be a meaningful learning experience for all participants. We have all worked hard to ensure the quality of content while trying to maximize access.  Schechter will have a strong showing and we look forward to our annual opportunity to be together.  But in addition to the networking, the learning, the socializing, and the celebrating, we also hope this conference shows what happens when networks work together for the greater good, deepening and strengthening our collective service to the field.

I think it is safe to say that with regard to the conference itself…mission accomplished!

In terms of my own experience, let me insert here that which I have already shared elsewhere through various social media, if for no other reason then to have it all conveniently stored in my primary reflective vehicle – this blog.

Here is how it started:

Here is the summary of my experiences:

Here is my first presentation:

Here is my second presentation:

My experiences of the conference were as cohost, presenter and network head.  I, not to my surprise, but to my disappointment, was unable to attend anything outside of those roles.  I experienced the keynotes and the receptions along with participants, but not the playground space, the vendors, or the actual sessions themselves.  The feedback I have received – solicited and otherwise – has been overwhelmingly positive and I look forward to reading the official survey for confirmation.

But as with any other conference or significant professional development experience, to close the loop with the powerful opening, what should be happening “right now?  How do we ensure that all the learning, all the new relationships, and all the enthusiasm from gathering over 1,000 passion-driven leaders from across the field is leveraged to the greatest good?

Since it came early and without the greatest sound system, I do want to make sure that you know we are actively engaged in answering those questions.  Those of us charged with stewarding the field as executive directors of national networks opened the conference with a statement about “how we can serve the field together”.

What are we thinking “right now”?

Imagine a system that effectively and efficiently delivers support in every area you need—financial strength and stability, professional development in 21st century pedagogies, new thinking to implement the Jewish mission of your school, participation in nationwide student contests, lay and professional leadership development, holistic school-based assessment and improvement, and networked connections among schools.  Imagine a system that recognizes the diversity of our schools, addresses their unique needs, and serves the field in an aligned and concerted way.

Could you have imagined it before this incredible conference?  Can you now?

“Uncommon Connections” – Looking Forward to the 2015 NAJDSC

image001Conference week is almost upon us!

One week from today, I will be headed up to Philadelphia to be sure I am ready to go for the 2015 North American Jewish Day School Conference, beginning Sunday, March 8th. This will be my first time as cohost, having had the wonderful opportunity to attend as a school head in 2011, 2012 and 2013.  (Last year, the field had two national conferences, Schechter (and me with it) having been a cohost of iJED.)

From Schechter’s part of the planning, I want to acknowledge Ilisa Cappell, Schechter’s Associate Director, for her tireless efforts on the conference’s Planning and Leadership Committees and for working so hard with Marc Kramer, RAVSAK‘s Executive Director, to develop a track at the conference for small schools.

In addition to my hosting duties, I will have the pleasure of presenting twice:

  • I will be co-presenting with Harry Bloom of PEJE on how small schools can leverage their resources to effectively recruit and retain families.
  • I will also be presenting on how schools can use “nings” to enhance professional culture, improve professional development and, thus, fulfill the promise of 21st century learning.

[I will send out links to both presentations once they go live.]

I am further thrilled to have chances to connect, celebrate, and dream with our Schechter shutterstock_796445201community (including our friends in the Jewish Montessori Society), our growing edJEWcon community and all the formal and informal opportunities to learn, reflect and share with old colleagues and new friends that make these experiences so powerful.

We are proud of the work we have done with our sister networks to create what we hope will be a meaningful learning experience for all participants. We have all worked hard to ensure the quality of content while trying to maximize access.  Schechter will have a strong showing and we look forward to our annual opportunity to be together. But in addition to the networking, the learning, the socializing, and the celebrating, we also hope this conference shows what happens when networks work together for the greater good, deepening and strengthening our collective service to the field.

See you in Philly!

The Jewish Education Olde Thyme Radio Hour: “Matterness” w/Allison Fine

There is one truth about our schools that is universal regardless of the size, age, or location – it is never boring to be a Jewish day school!  A related corollary is that there never seems to be a down or calm period anymore.  There is a season for each activity and it can sometimes feel like you are racing from one peak to the next, with no time to breathe between.  (Unless the weather conspires to shut you down!  However, school closures create their own unique pressures as so many of you are presently experiencing.)  As soon as you successfully launch your year, you are already focused on recruiting and retaining families for the next.  As soon as you close one campaign, next year’s campaign readies to begin.  As soon as your board begins to function at high capacity, it becomes time to cultivate new members.  As soon as you hire your last staff person and close your professional development calendar, the work of evaluation and planning the next year’s calendar launches.

And so on.

It can be a real challenge even finding an hour to read, to think, or engage in conversation with colleagues about big picture issues.  That is why it is such a pleasure for me to share this podcast with my friend and gifted educator Rabbi Marc Baker and to work on it with the good folks at ELI Talks.  It is our opportunity to take that hour to discuss important issues of the day and to engage others in the conversation.  We opened this second podcast with a discussion of the challenges extended snow days present to schools and whether they can become opportunities to challenge the traditional model of schools with bounded times and spaces.  But our main focus was our very first guest, author Allison Fine, and a conversation about her new book, “Matterness,” and its implications for the field.

It is not a #humblebrag to suggest that we would do this podcast with no audience. Truthfully, we aren’t even sure what kind of audience we have!  We genuinely appreciate the gift of time the podcast gives us to learn and discuss and we hope that those who are listening (or watching after the fact) enjoy the conversation half as much as we do.

As always, you are welcome to share your feedback as commentary on this blog or on the ELI Talks YouTube page!

Notes:

Here are the links to the two blog posts Marc discussed in our intro:

http://www.tovana.com/blog

http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/education-everywhere

Here is the video I discussed during our interview (shout out to Silvia Tolisano who shared it with me):

The Musical Chairs of Greener Grass: The JDS HOS Search Process

musical-chairs

I came across this comic strip last week while I was busy with one of my new tasks – coaching candidates and schools through the head of school (HOS) search process.  As I have been deepening my engagement with candidates, search committee chairs and executive recruiters, a number of thoughts have occurred to me and I thought since this is (still) the season, they were worth sharing out for feedback and discussion.

The Most Inexact of Sciences

Up until this year, my experience with the JDS HOS search process was exclusively as a candidate.  Over the course of my career, I have applied for a variety of positions.  I applied for RAVSAK schools; I applied for Schechter schools.  I applied at large schools; I applied at small schools.  I applied to schools that used a variety of executive search firms; I applied to schools that ran their search processes in-house.  I was a finalist for some positions and I never made it past the initial screening call for others.  In the end, I felt blessed when offered jobs and I felt disappointed when not offered other ones.

What was most consistent across these search experiences was the incredible inconsistency.  Everything was very different from school to school, without any discerning pattern.  Schools asked that I teach students and/or parents and/or teachers and/or no one.  At different times I was asked to prepare…

  • divrei Torah for faculty.
  • …PowerPoint presentations for the board.
  • possible marketing plans.
  • possible development plans.
  • analyses of the current school based on supporting documents.
  • analyses of the current school without supporting documents.
  • inspirational speeches about my vision of education.
  • etc.

In deference to time and space limitations, I will refrain from detailing further variances in everything from which stakeholder groups I did and did not meet with, how long I did or did not visit, and the ways in which I was and was not treated.  Suffice it to say that there was an extraordinary degree of difference between one school’s search process and another.

Looking at it now, I can see that on the one hand it makes sense and is actually helpful. Each school is different and experiencing different approaches to the search process can help the candidate discern a cultural fit.  Plus, the experienced and/or coached candidate knows what questions to ask and which people to see so as to ensure they have the information they need to make an informed decision.

On the other hand it, looking at it from a 20,000 foot perspective, shouldn’t a process as critical to school success as identifying the “best-fit leader” should have some data-driven standardization to increase the odds?  [I am not sure it is a financial issue.  Some of the most thorough and affirming (even if I didn’t get the job) processes I went through were at small schools who handled their searches in-house.]

All It Takes Is One (Human) Mistake

One theme that runs through all my experiences and conversations is the impression that it can actually all come down to one ill-timed smirk, one distracted conversation with an unknown influencer, or one offhand comment to a sensitive stakeholder.

Once, I came down with a pretty bad head cold the day before I was to fly out for a finalist visit and had to decide whether to gut it out or to reschedule.  I opted to stock up on over the counter meds and go for it.  The air pressure on the plane took out my hearing for the entire finalist visit!  Even though I felt lousy, I thought I had done well.  When I was informed that I had not gotten the job, part of the feedback I received was that there people who had felt that I had spoken so loudly [because I couldn’t hear myself speak!] that it raised concern that parents and teachers would think that I was an angry person.

Now was that the (only) reason why I didn’t get the job?  Who knows?  I would like to think not, but like so many candidates before me, those are the types of stories that stick with you as you go through the rounds.

The Missing Peace

Now that I am working with the schools as well as the candidates, I have noticed another phenomenon.  Schools often search for a new leader to fill the missing 30% of the prior leader.  If you read the job descriptions for most HOS positions, you will see a list of attributes, skills and experiences that I cannot imagine any one human being possessing.  Let’s say the best of candidates might have about 70% of the complete set.  In large schools, you can try to complement the remaining 30% by rounding out the administrative team.  In small schools, you can try to complement by using lay leadership and volunteers, but that tends to be a riskier proposition.

This may be one reason there is both a crisis in small schools and in HOS wellness.

The pressure to be everything to everyone can be extremely challenging for the leader, no matter how much coaching s/he receives.

The temptation to seek what’s missing in the next leader can lead a school back and forth and back again trying to continually fill a gap that can never fully be filled.

Grass is Greener

To be fair this happens on both ends.  Let’s say any headship has about 70% of all the things one could hope and dream for in a position – salary, lay support, faculty excellence, fundraising capacity, etc.  In a world of scarcity, one can also be tempted to seek that which is missing in your current headship, thereby perpetuating a search for something that doesn’t exist.

There is no perfect school and there are no perfect heads.

 

To be clear, I have certainly moved from position to position for the purpose of furthering my career.  And schools have every right to expect the best from their heads and to seek new leadership if and when they feel new leadership is called for.  At the level of the individual leader or school, it all seems fairly straightforward.

And yet…

I do wonder at what cost to the field this elaborate game of musical chairs is taking?  If the average length of tenure for a head of school (2.7 years) is less than that of a successful change of school culture (3-5 years)…

…well at some point in every person’s career and in each school’s search, the music will stop and there won’t be a seat left in the game.

Who wins then?

We Have a Shared Dream

MLK Day of Service“My people were brought to America in chains,” Martin Luther King Jr. told the American Jewish Congress’ Biennial in 1958. “Your people were driven here to escape the chains fashioned for them in Europe.  Our unity is born of our common struggle for centuries, not only to rid ourselves of bondage, but to make oppression of any people by others an impossibility.”

Each year, as Jewish day schools prepare to honor the legacy of Dr. King with special programming and content, I am reminded of how important it is that we prepare our students to live in the world outside the Jewish community.  This year, in light of current events both at home (which I wrote about a few weeks ago) and abroad, I am especially reminded.

It is not that diversity is absent in the Jewish schools.  One typically finds a range of national origins, ethnicities and social classes within the walls of the school and students have ample opporunity to learn how to get along in a diverse community.  However, when it comes to racial diversity, I feel we have a special responsibility in light of the historic relationship between the Jewish community and the civil rights movement (see “Selma” for example.  Seriously…go see it).  Although we make an effort to expose our students to the larger world around them, the simple fact is that they do spend most of their days in a wholly Jewish environment.  However, the Jewish values of kehillah (community) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) extend beyond the Jewish community.  Our educational responsibility is prepare our students to be citizens of the city, state, nation, and world in which they live.

You’ll find this reflected in our choice of library books and posters in which we do our best to present a range of cultures.  You will see it expressed in the “hidden curriculum” by how we devote school time in both general and Jewish studies to learn about, experience, and commemorate the wonderful holidays of our shared cultures.  As we study the life of Dr. King and his continued impact on our society, we are reminded of the words of the prophet Isaiah (42:6-7), “I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have appointed you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and from the prison those who sit in darkness.”

May Monday’s holiday be a reminder that we live in a world still in need of healing and an opporunity to do our small part in its repair.

Wellness in a Stressful World

I talk to a lot of heads of school.

That’s a big part of my job.  I have things to share and things to learn.  I have advice to offer and advice to take.  I spend a significant amount of time each day talking with leaders of Jewish schools.  And the one thing I can say with great confidence, is that regardless of whether they head a large school or small; a successful school or one which struggles; whether they have been in the position for five months or fifty years…they are not bored!

is-it-friday-yet-704781-mI think we associate “stress” with negative situations, but I am not so sure that is always the case.  I think there are some settings, some professions, some situations that even when functioning at or near their best are inherently stressful and, thus, create significant wellness concerns for those entrusted with leadership.  I am confident that Jewish schools are one such address.

Let’s skip an enumeration of why leading Jewish schools is stressful.  Let’s assume there be some connection between stress and burnout.  Let’s take as a given that one cannot take care of others when one cannot take care of oneself.  Let’s hope you can make changes to improve wellness.  Let’s be honest and admit that despite having attending two different conferences on this topic that you haven’t yet made those changes.  (OK, that one was just for me.)

We’ve all seen this, yes?

And yet I still get to work by 7:00 AM, am still checking email at 10:00 PM, still not going to the gym, still grabbing a donut from the faculty room, etc., etc.

How can we better understand what is going on?

In their book, “SWITCH – How to Change Things When Change is Hard”, Chip Heath and Dan Heath talk about “immunity to change”.  Essentially the behaviors we say want to change are serving some purpose and until we can figure out what that is, we will struggle to replace them.  I say I want to make healthy eating choices…I say I want to get more sleep…I say I want to exercise more…I say I want to achieve greater school-home balance.

How do I dream the new dream?

 

What do you think?

I would love to hear from those who have thought about this topic.  I would love to hear even more from those who have done something about it.  What are you doing to address wellness either for yourself or your school (or your organization)?  What has worked that you can share and what are you struggling with that we can learn from?

There are 525,600 minutes in one year.  However, when you consider that approximately 175,200 minutes of that time will be spent sleeping, 16,425 minutes spent eating, and if you’re in education, 72,000 minutes spent in school…well, you have less than half that total to spend on the rest of your life.

It is essential to do the important things first—if you leave them until last, you might run out of time.