Academic Excellence Requires Successfully Leading With Others
Lead yourself. Lead with others. Change your world.
This is what we ask our students to do every day in order for them to be their best selves in our academic learning environment.
They are challenged to lead from where they are at each moment of their individual journeys.
At Ravenscroft, we are building on a 150-year tradition of academic excellence to instill the principles of citizenship and leadership in every student. The competencies outlined in our citizen-leader framework empower us to take an effective and holistic approach to teaching that prepares students to succeed in a complex and interdependent world.
Let’s face it, we don’t know what the world will look like when our current Lower School students start building their careers and pursuing their individual passions. Consider this: The Chromebooks that Ravenscroft students now use in grades seven through 12 didn’t even exist when our current seventh graders (and my first class of Ravens) started out in the Lower School.
There are many unknowns, but as educators we can state confidently that our changing world will demand cultural fluency. Our children must be able to work collaboratively with others and to understand cultures different than their own.
As we transition into the second half of the school year, the Lower School will be focusing on the Leading with Others component of our Citizen Leader framework which is centered around our Character Tree and supported by our mission of nurturing individual potential and preparing students to thrive in a complex and interdependent world.
The five competencies in our framework for successfully leading with others include:
We will first be concentrating on what it means to be culturally inclusive and how important it will be for our faculty and students to grow in their understanding of this competency if they are to be successful when leading with others.
The Lower School faculty engaged in a professional development session during our January workdays to discuss this competency in the context of our work with young children, and we agreed on the following definition to guide our work in the months ahead:
Culturally Inclusive— students who are culturally inclusive build positive relationships with others by learning about, respecting, and celebrating how we are all alike and different.
Two words really resonated in our discussions– respect and empathy.
We must learn to respect all the differences that exist in our society and grow in our capacity to empathize with other people who experience the world differently than we do. This open-mindedness allows us the opportunity to make meaningful connections, think beyond our boundaries, and embrace our unifying qualities.
We must make it a priority to get to know an individual for who they are on the inside and avoid making generalizations and assumptions about individuals or groups of individuals based on a label or stereotype given to them by society.
Dr. Steven Jones does an excellent job shifting the conversation from being culturally sensitive to being cultural competent in this video that we watched at our meeting called Creating Investigators of Cultural. He challenges us to view this as a skill — just like a math or reading skill — that must be taught if we are going to truly prepare our children to be successful in this complex and interdependent world.
We hope you will join us on Feb. 11 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in the Winston Library for another Community Conversation where will continue to discuss how we can promote a diverse and inclusive learning environment at Ravenscroft and position all of our children to lead successfully with others.