When I read, I often pause to make note of certain quotes that really resonate with me. Over time, I like to look back at the quotes and reflect on why they stood out to me. Here the quotes that recently resonated with me.
“Leadership is not about building trust so that the hard work of improvement can happen later. It is about tackling the work in ways that build trust through learning and making progress together.” ~Viviane Robinson, Student-Centered Leadership
This is the book from which an earlier quote jumped out at me last month when I first began reading it! This particular quote resonates with me because, as a leader, I was constantly trying to balance my sense of urgency (and fast-paced work style) with the need to build relationships with my staff. I often got advice to go slow, to wait on the important work, and to focus solely on the relationships. People said that I wouldn’t be able to get anything real done in the first year or two. This was shocking and upsetting to me, as a new principal in a high-needs school. I managed to find my way by building relationships about the work as we did the work collectively.
This quote was my first #BookSnaps. A colleague shared with me the idea of sharing quotes by using SnapChat. There is now a hashtag on Twitter full of these snaps, which are great to read. The quote above stood out to me because of everything I’ve been ready about praise. In education, we often want to praise every little effort, especially for students who have traditionally struggled. What research tells us now, though, is that insincere praise, or praise for effortless tasks, can hurt the learner more than help. I’ve begun to refocus on the importance of feedback for learning, not praise for the sake of happiness.
My second #BookSnap came out of a fiction book, The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware. The quote itself reminded me of the many podcast I listen to that address wrongful convictions. It also reminded me of the upcoming documentary, Time: The Kalief Browder story, which documents the sad tale of a teen who spent most of his three years in prison, awaiting a trial, in solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is a modern form of torture for anyone, especially a teen whose brain is still developing. Browder committed suicide after his release from prison, and the torture he endured was a likely cause of the mental illness he suffered. Our justice system needs some serious help, and this story is one of many that needs to be told.