1. Ross Dean

    Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and help them become what they are capable of being. —Goethe
    “The role of parents in the education of their children cannot be overestimated.” – Unknown
    ‘knowledge is not enough’ Unknown
    ‘School and learning, on a fundamental level, has to be a community’s endeavour’ Jordan Shapiro
    ‘There is a crack in everything. That’s where the light gets in.’ Leonard Cohen
    ‘The harder you fight to hold onto specific assumptions, the more likely there’s gold in letting go of them’.John Seely Brown

  2. Sean Berk

    “Freedom is a bigger game than power…” Wow, what a concept, yet so true. I think too often, leaders attempt to lead, control the destination, expect others to follow their instruction. The reality is that the best leaders lead in a way that empower those they lead to freely go in a direction that supports the larger goal. With so much at stake, one can sympathize with the anxieties of the micromanagers, yet such a method can undermine and suffocate those you lead. Empower them, trust them, and let them unleash that untapped greatness!

    • I, too, love this quotation, and I want to state what I think we all know is somewhat implied…this absolutely applies to the position of the teacher in the classroom.

      When we realize that the position of a teacher is fraught with power and that how we wield that power is ever so important, we begin to rethink who we are. My own recognition, early in my now 25-year-long career, of this fact has made my work in the classroom more genuine and important than mere content consumption.

      However, it has not made my work easier. On the contrary, the system itself works against freedom. Its insistence on efficiency (test results) and compliance are both power plays that run counter to human development. While it may seem an oxymoron, what one must try to achieve is a bit of “managed freedom.” This is the difference between utter chaos and productive chaos. It is a delicate dance between teacher and student to recognize and honor the “chaos inside” that Nietzche says “gives birth to a dancing star.”


    If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. – R. Buckminster Fuller

    If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. African proverb

  4. Jerry McLaughlin

    I have been captured by the idea of “lifelong learners” ; this is our goal for our students, and we reach this goal through making an example of ourselves. Looking at the first quote that you posted – we give our students the freedom to try new things, and the freedom to fail, and the freedom to grow from and through that failure. We place a premium on the dignity of the student, taking care not to pit ourselves against the classroom, or embarrass the students in front of their peers. We admit our mistakes, and collaborate not only with other teachers but also with our students to create a community of learning. We communicate our standards and goals, and make sure that students can explain their value and help them achieve meta-knowledge about how far along they are.
    There are three ideas that were born out of the Argentinian revolution in 2001 as the economy collapsed. “Horizontalism, to describe the nonheirarchical way many communities made decisions ; protagonism to describe the new agency many found; and the politics of affection.” (from A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit)
    I believe that those ideas could be integrated into our classrooms as well.

  5. “Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their mind, cannot change anything.” — George Bernard Shaw

    “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” — Albert Einstein

    “All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds today.” — Anonymous

    “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

    “It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage then the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution, and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new one.” – Machiavelli

  6. Jancey Clark

    “Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.” Seth Godin

  7. Jodi Jacobson

    “Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and character.” —William Arthur Ward.
    This quote has always been my favorite because to me it speaks to our role in serving others.

  8. Moderata

    “The most important political office is that of private citizen”. Louis Brandeis

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