“Stories are the secret reservoir of values: change the stories individuals and nations live by and tell themselves, and you change the individuals and nations.”
Stories are not just for the young. They are for all of us. Stories when told well, by-pass the defences and barriers of the rational mind and connect with something deeper that resides within us all. It is my belief that, that something deeper, that essence of what connects us all, that shared humanity has been weakened by current narratives of competition, isolation, scarcity and lack within our education system today. To change the corrosive effect of this current narrative and related stories, we need to encourage more school leaders to share different stories.
We need more school leaders to share their unique stories of:
– Hope and
Stories that have less to do with the ‘doing’ of the role and more to do with the ‘being’.
We need more school leaders who are prepared to stand out from the crowd. We need school Leaders who are prepared to show how high expectations can sit equally alongside, humility, compassion and hope.
We need more school leaders who are prepared to tell stories of how they have gone against the grain and re-written for themselves the notion of what it means to be a leader. Leaders who have said, “No, I will no-longer be defined by my persona, but by the values that I hold dear.”
Equally, we need more school leaders who are willing to talk about the vulnerability that all leaders share. Leaders who are prepared to show how facing up to fears, self-doubt and emotional exposure, have not made them weak, but instead have made them stronger.
Just imagine …
If as a school leader you were supported to tell your own unique story, in such a way that you could:
– Change key elements of the story that you are currently living by?
– Find a new level of authenticity within your own voice that kept you connected to your own sense of agency and purpose
– Find a depth of wisdom and knowing within your own story, that could not only change your schools’ narrative but also the predominant narrative within our education system today?
We need to imagine and we need to believe! We need to believe because as the author Ben Okri says at the top of this blog, “Change the stories individuals and nations live by and tell themselves, and you change the individuals and nations.”
And it is time to change the stories that many of our school leaders are ‘forced’ to live by. Neither children nor adults can flourish where there is an absence of compassion, hope and meaning. Environments that lack these qualities have a detrimental impact on the emotional and psychological state of individuals and consequently on the story that they tell themselves.
The late Carl Rogers said, “There is in every organism, at whatever level, an underlying flow of movement toward constructive fulfilment of its inherent possibilities.”
Yet within our education system today, this ‘underlying flow’ is often restricted and at times thwarted because the surrounding conditions that neither nurture or support ‘fulfilment of inherent possibilities’
Telling stories, allowing new voices to be heard, bringing fresh and diverse perspectives to the school leadership agenda, can help to:
– Strengthen the profession from within
– Bring a greater level of humanity back into the profession
– Keep school leaders in the profession for the long haul
– Ensure that leaders are able to achieve greater levels of congruity between their values and current realities
– Sustain leaders’ sense of agency, vocation and purpose
Which simply, is why we need more school leaders to share their stories!
“Education for the Soul” Conference 2018
Euston, London – Thursday 18th October
Over the last few years, there have been more than a few harmful narratives that have seeped their way into our education system. Our leaders now find themselves operating in a profession in which they’re increasingly expected to see pupils as data, their schools as businesses & fellow school leaders as rivals and competitors.
Contrary to popular belief, these narratives are not supportive of our leaders and neither do they ensure the best outcomes for our children. Rather, they often only serve to demoralise, alienate & intensify the emotional challenges of school leadership.
That’s why on 18th October, we will be hosting our 2nd “Education for the Soul” Conference designed to help “create new narratives for the school leaders’ journey”.
This conference will aim to extend the conversation around school leadership, well-being and standards in our schools and help leaders redefine what being a school leadership looks like for them and write exciting new chapters for themselves, their pupils and the communities they serve.
Like last year’s conference, we hope to create a safe and collegial space where you can meet with like-minded Heads and School Leaders, openly explore present challenges, discover new ways of leading and develop personal frameworks for thriving in the school leadership role.
Above all, we aim to provide school leaders with a unique opportunity where they can…
– Talk truthfully and honestly about the challenges of school leadership
– Experience the companionship of fellow school leaders in ways which are collegiate and supportive
– Probe and re-connect with their purpose, values and sense of vocation
– Explore how to make lighter the weight of school leadership
– Discover solutions and new ways of leading their schools
If you’d like to find out more about what the conference is all about, please visit our website using the link below…
If you’d like to register to attend this webinar, please follow the link below…