What is your why?

I recently participated in an Open Space session. During this session, one of the topics hosted was What is your why? Simon Sinek (2017) started this work with his book Find Your Why. Listening to my colleagues discuss their why was inspiring.

My why has changed as I have learned in my various roles in public education. Early in my career, my why was to impact students early in life to increase their access and opportunities. As I transitioned to a leadership role, my why transformed to impacting the system to increase student access and opportunity. Through my learning and leadership, I have come to realize that often my intent to improve outcomes for students has inadvertently created programming that limited access to their learning environment with their peer group. Of course, these programs were always generated with good intent and to solve a problem or address a student’s need, but I am finding the truth is that we were simply triaging the situation.

How do we create a learning environment that allows all learners to feel value, be valued, and add value? Where do we start? This work calls on us to disrupt the current system, to be bold in our advocacy for a system that is inclusive. We’ve started the discussion. Are you willing to lean into this work?