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The second time I had face time with principals in Santa Ana Unified and wanted to expand on the topic of innovation and exploration in instruction, I asked them how many remembered the story I told the time I spoke before. Some raised hands. Actually, I can tell you that though not everyone raised their hands, the people who did, did quickly and they had a warm expression on their faces, affirming, and as if they remembered the story fondly. I can tell you they probably couldn’t retell the story. They probably remembered bare details, like I told a story about my great, great grandfather. However, they smiled. We had connected.
Here is the second story I told principals:
“Remember the story I told you last time? How my great, great grandfather came from Germany?”
“Well, I was thinking about it, and I really had to ask myself why he would leave the familiarity and comfort of home. Why would he leave the place he knew? The valleys, the trees, the roads of home? The language so familiar to his ear? The relationships he treasured? And the truth is that he did not leave for no reason. He had heard stories. Stories of abundance and adventure called to him. He heard reports of what America was like. He heard stories of how the new land was mysterious and magnificent.
Stories of abundance and adventure call to us.
So, because of these stories, Albert (pictured above with his adult children – my great grandfather Ernest at the top right), left the comfort and familiarity of home.
To reach new lands, we have to repeat the stories of where we are going.
How do you share stories of the future of your school? How do you repeat stories of the future of your learners? How do you share the vision for exploration and pushing the boundaries of teaching and learning?