When we think about school leadership, we of course reflect on the people who benefit from the professional practice of school leaders. Who are those people? The list is long. Students are first on the list. Parents, the school board, staff, community members, legislators, the business community, colleagues, service organizations, faith communities, even our national and international colleagues. So when we say, “it takes a village,” we are referring to a very large village!
As I write this post, our legislators (leaders who also serve a really large “village”) are in the final stages of the 2015 session. The leaders have moved into Governor Dayton’s residence to work out the budget and we are hearing rumors that we may go into conference committee this afternoon. Everybody in our village will feel the impact of the activities of the next few days — cities, counties, schools, higher ed, health care, and so on. While we focus on the needs of our students, these session wrap-ups are a reminder of the diversity of needs that exist within our village, and how lucky we are to be able to respond to most of those needs.
It’s timely that MASA will host a discussion tomorrow, led by Professor John McKnight, about how local schools can help revive the capacity of all within our neighborhoods to educate our students. Professor McKnight says, "For more than a generation, local communities have transferred their traditional child raising functions to schools. As a result, an impossible burden has been placed on teachers who are expected to educate while also taking responsibility for the health, safety, morals and behavior of their students. Fortunately, every neighborhood is rich with unused teaching/learning resources that, when mobilized, can transfer back to the community its functions as a village that raises its children.” We are excited to see what outcomes will result from this rich conversation, and we will eventually share data and resources with our members.
As our members wrap up the school year and make plans for the next, their interactions with the wider world have the potential to build better and better systems to serve our young people. So wherever we go in the village, we have the opportunity to bring a message that supports the critical importance of the success and wellbeing of our students and their families.