1. Melody Stacy

    Wow, what an apropos post for me. Midway into my 2nd yr as an elem principal, we have been focusing on how we create that magical mixture of love and high expectations. Find yourself in either extreme and it is to the detriment of your students. We highly value strong, positive relationships, but we can’t love our students to failure. And we can’t stick our heads in the sand and ignore evidence of their learning and progress. I’ve been at all three levels in my 21 years and this has been a constant, over-arching theme to my passion & purpose. You’ve put some great words to this core belief. Thank you. Oh, and we are into this so much that we are having our next school-wide twitter chat (A Strengths-Based Approach to Innovation) inspired by your Innovating Inside the Box post. #TMGeniusChat Jan. 25 @ 8PM EST. It would be rockin’ awesome if you could join. Your work continues to inspire me. Thanks again!

  2. Jo Winlaw

    Really loved this post. Totally agree with your comment re ‘despising’ the term ‘data-driven’ and preferring ‘learner-driven, evidence-based’. I guess for me when discussing the importance of relationships in education, my take is that if you are interested in engaging the hearts of students and colleagues [and hopefully the minds will follow!], then it should be a natural part of that process to look to be ‘learner-driven’ using evidence available to you to ensure that opportunities for improvement not only occur but provide the basis for continued success. Thanks again for your thought-provoking post, I always look forward to reading your thoughts in this sphere.

  3. Charlotte Jones

    It’s the relationship that allows you to push students to reach high expectations. When students know you are in their corner, they are willing to take risks, make mistakes, reflect and learn from the experiences.

  4. Genvieve Dorsey

    LOVE “learner-driven, evidence informed!” I’m looking at this from the Principal’s perspective – what we value for kids has also has to be what we value in ourselves and our adult learners.

  5. Great read! ” I assume people want to feel valued, but I also assume that they want to get better and grow” resonated with me. Thanks for sharing and empowering!!!

  6. Great post (as usual) George, and a very important one for leaders to take to heart. I had a former director of education ask me how my “learning relationship” was with my staff and students, and adding the word “learning” really caused me to pause and reflect on the critical work we do. Thanks for continuing to push all of our thinking.

  7. Hey George–After hearing all the usual fluff about relationships ONLY, this post resonates as real and productive and accountable, and for all the right reasons. I especially like how your well-rounded experience informs your reflections. While I agree that standardization on minimal metrics is not an accurate measure of schools and #wholechild learning, nothing beats this right here: “Just remember though that relationships are the foundation, not the end goal.” I appreciate your keeping it real in a time when fake flourishes.
    Thanks again.

  8. Olivia Bolaños

    You are right on target. I have been blessed with speaking another language (Spanish) and one that has serviced me to have an amazing relationship with my school community as a Principal and my career. Parent participation was extremely high. I had an Asst. Principal who helped me grow as a learner in the field and to build the capacity of our teachers. As a learner it helped our school sites doing real well. Test-taking or best practices- I relate it to flossing teeth: if you only do it a couple of days before the appt. it will be painful, if you do it all year long, the results will show.

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