This past weekend I was able serve on the press corp and interview some of the award winning schools and individuals that were being honored at ASCD’s annual conference. One group that I was fortunate enough to chat with was the leadership team from Milwaukie High School in Milwaukie, Oregon. They were sharing their story about how they took many steps to transform the learning in their school. We talked at length about the various interventions they put in place and the partnerships they were able to forge in an effort to support their students. Without going into great detail, it is safe to say they have been doing some great work.
Towards the end of the conversation I asked them how they planned on sharing their story so others could benefit. They honestly really didn’t have an answer initially. One of the members of the group indicated he didn’t have time to do that on top of what they were already doing. Now, we have all heard this excuse and in many cases it is a truly valid reason. However, I have always been a believer in the idea that we make time for those things we value.
What worried me more was an individual not in their group that did not think it was important that they share their story for others to learn and even pushed back at the notion. If we are to be better at what we do for and with kids, we have a moral imperative to share our best work. How are we to be better if we are not learning from each other? Not all learning happens in a textbook or graduate class but in the spaces in between where we share our success and failures.
One member of the leadership team said, “We didn’t know we had a story to tell.” We all have a story to tell and it needs to be told. Regardless of what space you use, our stories need to be told. Move past the notion that your story is not worth being told. It will have value to someone and we have an obligation to share what is working for us in an effort to improve education for all…not just those in our own school or classroom.