Doug Pederson, coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, before their Super Bowl victory, prophetically stated that
individuals make a difference but it takes a team to make a miracle.”
In education, we have many wonderful teachers and administrators but for a variety of reasons they retreat into their silos and withdraw from the collaborative process which is necessary for schools and districts to succeed. It may be the result of frustration in dealing with confusing and failed initiatives or possibly just the instinct to survive in a chaotic, poorly organized environment. Under difficult circumstances, some teachers do the best that they can do while others drill down to a philosophy of “just helping those that are seeking help.” But for schools to reach higher performance levels and for ALL children to reach their potential, teachers and administrators must work together on the substantive issue of achievement. Teachers can’t mobilize the staff on their own. It requires the efforts of administrators who believe that it is their mission to deliver a quality education to each and every student entrusted to them. It requires that leaders build a team that “buys into” the mission that is not only possible for ALL children to learn but to succeed and reach their highest performance levels.
Too often, in examining the challenges associated with underachievement, school and district leadership teams immediately focus on the need for additional resources or additional funding rather than looking inward to identify the strengths of the school, staff, and stakeholders. In contrast, the Philadelphia Eagles, when confronted with adversity recognized the need to pull together rather than bemoan the obvious. In another prophetic statement, a lineman, realizing the importance of team and the synergy needed to win, stated that
We all we got. We all we need.”
The Exemplary Schools Organization believes that ALL schools have everything that they need to achieve. It is a matter of organizing its component parts to reach a level of synergy for progress to emerge. It is a matter of recognizing the disconnections between Alignment, Attitude, and Accountability and having the Adept Leadership required to collaboratively devise a plan for success. Respecting everyone’s unique capabilities and believing in each other is the first step.
At the Exemplary Schools Organization, we believe that change also begins with looking inward but it is what we do with those reflections that will make a difference. Individuals do make a difference but the real power of growth lies in the team. It is through the “power of team” that real solutions are devised and real goals are met.
Just ask the Philadelphia Eagles!