- Education and learning is a process. Growth in children, adolescents and young adults isn’t linear or sequential. There is no particular place where it starts or stops. It is about moving forward, taking on new challenges, taking inventory and then moving forward again. Interestingly, all seem to arrive at the same place—adulthood.
- Schools and parents need to commit to the development of the whole child/person—the intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth. Focusing too much on one part of a child’s development at the expense of the other parts undermines a child’s development and compromises helping a child become the person they are meant to be.
- The best teachers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Often they are in the formal role of teacher, advisor or coach, but sometimes they are not. Age is not a determiner or predictor of great teaching—I have learned countless lessons from the students in my classes, those I have advised and those I have coached.
- Modeling matters, caring matters and people matter. Students learn by observation and example. The older I get the more convinced I am that students become who they are, in large part, by whom they see and observe, and what they see and observe. The best schools are places where students are cared for and the adults—faculty, staff and parents—are cared for as well.
- The best schools have people at the center—not program or facilities.
- Finally, as I have often quoted, success in schools and parenting is bound to follow if we remember, “It begins and ends with the students and children in mind.”
Wisdom is, in fact, critical to schools and, more importantly, to a well-lived life. With each year I have spent in schools, I have become more convinced that wisdom can be gained from thinking and listening, from sifting through issues and learning from one’s experience.