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John Switzer

Joseph,

Great article. Let's face it: kids want to know we care before they care what we know.

Here at Seoul Foreign School, we've been using the Search Institute's 40 developmental assets as a framework on which to build the affective domain of our students. Kimberly's activity of having the teachers identify connections with kids is a fantastic exercise, one that we've done in our upper grades halfway through the year at a faculty meeting. We intend to repeat it again at the end of the year to see if teachers have actually made connections with students who appeared to have few contacts. It is a pretty profound assessment that we believe will have a direct impact on the teaching and learning of our entire community.

brian saxton

Joseph,
I think that you are right. There is not enough time for everyone to get around the table and tell there stories, to hear successes and failures and to learn from each other. We do it to infrequently in my own district.
This blog has enabled us to do just what you are talking about. Get around the table only it is a virtual table.
Now if we can only get a bigger table...
Brian

Glenn E. Malone

Great post! Stories are making a comeback! Dan Pink mentions the importance of Story in his book too...here are the websites he mentions at the end of that chapter:
http://del.icio.us/GEMalone/PinkStory

Neil Rochelle

I enjoyed your post very much Joseph. I will never forget my first years as a superintendent and after being at the building level, I was beginning to feel a bit isolated. Monthly meetings with superintendent groups were some of the most beneficial meetings I attended. It is all about the stories. Stories that give you a sense that someone has been through this before, that someone else was in a situation that didn't know how to handle or handled all wrong and learned from their mistakes. While I hate to see anyone struggle, there is also something to be said for those wild stories you hear that make you say to yourself, "maybe I don't have it so bad after all".

We have so much to offer just by participating in networking whether face to face or a blog or wiki. The art of storytelling can be extremely powerful. Continue to tell 'your story' and remember them....they will provide the same kind of inspiration to a new superintendent 10 years from now.

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