U: Unwritten & Unspoken
One of the ideas I have been reflecting on are the rules and norms in our communities that are unwritten or unspoken. Whenever you accept a new job, building relationships and learning the culture of your new community is an important first step. Some aspects you can learn by reading documents (district/ site plans, meeting minutes, agendas, etc.) and others you can learn by listening and observing in as many situations as possible.
Despite all of those options, there are still cultural aspects you cannot learn right away, at least not explicitly. The unwritten and unspoken norms. Sometimes these become the elephants in the room. That-which-we-shall-not-discuss.
To me, strong leaders address the unwritten norms that hurt a culture. True leaders recognize the unspoken agreements that hold back a school from moving forward for the benefit of all students.
While it may not be easy, it is important. When I think about the values I hold for social justice in our school system, I think about the unspoken norms I have seen in some communities- the unwritten belief that not all students can learn, or that not all students deserve a full, rich, engaging educational experience each and every day.
So now I think about how we, as leaders, can cultivate a growth mindset culture. How we can support systems that expect the best from everyone- students, staff, parents, and leaders. What can we do to address the unwritten or unspoken norms that are holding us back?
Reflective questions to consider:
- How do you learn and address unwritten or unspoken norms?
- What examples of unwritten norms have you experienced?
- How are you infusing growth mindset into your work?
Abecedary of Reflection