Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Most Powerful Mission - Leverage our Today to Change their Tomorrow

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure being in Kirbyville, Texas to work with some outstanding teachers on building a strong and vibrant learning community. One of the first things that we discussed was the consequences kids would experience if we failed to commit to the school's mission of guaranteeing that all students learn at high levels every day. After synthesizing the statistics of generational poverty, prison rates which are directly related to the dropout rate, and the need for every child to earn more than a high school diploma, the campus developed this mission statement.

Kirbyville Elementary School
Mission Statement

This is a Powerful Statement should be in Every School in America!

 Let's take a second and break down each piece of this mission statement as it should apply to every school in America. 

Whatever It Takes
In thinking about this simple phrase, I recognize that so many people recklessly use this statement. This clich├ęd catchphrase is often used with little understanding of its definition. 'Whatever it Takes' requires every single employee to understand that they are part of the Whatever. They must commit to truly synthesize their role as the ultimate saver of lives. 'Whatever it Takes' is selfless action. It is a commitment to the school's guarantee for every child. 

With Whatever We Have
This powerful prepositional phrase requires all educators to remove their natural tendencies to gravitate toward excuses when positive results do not occur instantly. School cultures with this mentality don't rely on the quantity of resources but the quality of how they use them. 'Whatever We Have' starts with recognizing ourselves as the first resource and digging deep within our own ability to grow and get better at what we do. 'With Whatever We Have' is about leveraging every asset in the entire building to ensure that every kid learns from every educator every day. 

Today Changes Tomorrow
This is the campus' moral imperative. If all educators believe that today changes tomorrow, they believe that what they do not only changes a child's learning tomorrow but also the trajectory of their future. Today changes lives. Today has the potential to change the world. 

Today has the potential for a profound impact on our world. This mission statement blew me away because it is the ultimate mission statement. It truly defines why we are in this business. We're not here to improve test scores or make sure the school meets accountability. These things should be by-products of capitalizing on the present. Today must remind each and everyone of us that when we walk into the building, we have the potential to be a game changer in the life of a child. It means we can eradicate poverty all together.  We can end the cycle of generational dependence. We can change our country's future. We can change THEIR tomorrow...

If your school does not have a mission statement, I strongly urge you to use this one as a model for what your school's mission should be. I've been in this business for a long time and have seen lots of mission statements, but this one gave me pause. It made me check myself and ask myself this question.  Am I focused simply on changing today, or leveraging today to change their tomorrow?

I'm pretty sure that if we all fully invested in today, tomorrow would yield a result far beyond our wildest dreams. 

Today...  What will you do with your todays this year?  Be a #gamechanger!!!

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