Collaboration and competition

Eric Lowitt explains why your company should collaborate with rivals.

I’m proud to say that the independent schools of Augusta are already there.

Collaboration will define our future by helping us know ourselves through another’s eyes.

Forgive the tongue-in-cheek, but we will also find this important as individuals. 

About the Islamic school in Texas

I recently read of an Islamic school’s efforts to join Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools for athletic competition.

I am struck that an association of schools who share a devotion to “Judeo-Christian values” are suspicious of the Islamic school’s motivation for joining their league.

How would the Nazarean carpenter manage this request? Would He see an opportunity to practice love? Would He see opportunity for, as He taught His followers to pray, God’s kingdom to come on earth?

None of us can answer this question with utter confidence.

I am certain those who sent the questions to the school regarding their request have the best of intentions. They even show a willingness to learn what they do not know, and to understand where they lack understanding.

I just can’t imagine that the Carpenter would have sent a questionnaire. He would seize the opportunity to open dialogue and relationship, and to share God’s love in a real, personal way with real, individual people He otherwise might have never known.

Mourning the tragedy in Jacksonville

I mourn today for our friends at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville.

I celebrate Dale Regan’s life – a life spent dedicated to her students – and, through her service, to schools and students she never knew. I pray she receives, as should every shepherd, “the crown of glory that will never fade away.

I pray a double portion of peace, love, and strength to those who continue her work.

What do we want on the test?

This enjoyable article from Gina Barreca (Chronicle of Higher Education) offers insight into the mind of an undergraduate professor’s expectations for an exam.

I wonder why we wait until the undergraduate years to offer our students such counsel regarding assessments and earning a grade.

I wonder why we stop offering similar counsel as careers progress.

Kindergarten Admissions

I believe the author of this recent NY Times article would agree that the battleground for college admissions should NOT begin in preschool.

From the article: “The process itself does little to favor restraint and often less to minimize the stress that is already so acute in a situation where supply is lavishly outpaced by demand. (For the current school year, at independent schools in New York City, there was a median of seven applications for each student who eventually enrolled.)”

My evil twin may have already hung a virtual shingle to assist struggling families with the process, including grief counseling during the aftermath.

Intentional development: could I raise the next Steve Jobs?

I am continually intrigued by the questions surrounding the intentional actions we might choose in raising the young.

Carol Dweck’s Mindset taught me much about creating a fertile environment for learning. Dweck’s conclusions align with some of the advice offered in CNN’s recent article, “How to raise the next Steve Jobs.” If the celebrity headline troubles you, here’s the original article by Christina Vercelletto.

What philosophy guides our choices in raising the young? What actions result from this philosophy? If universally applied, what society would this philosophy build?

Could we intentionally grow a creative person?

Can a middle schooler understand?

Dan Pallotta doesn’t understand what he’s hearing. To quote his post,

“I’d say that in about half of my business conversations, I have almost no idea what other people are saying to me.”

Similar epidemics exist in every field, sometimes spreading outside the box.

My personal solution? If a middle school student doesn’t understand, I should refine my explanation.

(Here’s a group making a project of simple explanations, and also a growing encyclopedia in simple English.)

Creativity

This gives me pause to think of the times I’ve dismissed a new idea. Ouch.

Let’s remember to let creativity live – in our schools, homes, and hearts.

Especially when we disagree.

Coach K on leadership

Don’t miss this excellent interview from Sim Sitkin and Richard Hackman, “Developing team leadership: an interview with Coach Mike Krzyzewski.” (Link to PDF)

Teaching successful failure

Carol Dweck (author of Mindset) would completely agree with Seth Godin’s perspective on failure.

Leaders in every industry bear this truth in the shape of their careers.

Why, then, do our school cultures remain averse to teaching successful failure?