Pursuit of Excellence – Why Educators Must Embrace a Passion for Growth

Would you go to a doctor that hadn’t changed her techniques or approach to medicine since 1985?

Would your anesthesiologist utilize the same pharmaceutical options and monitoring tools when preparing you for surgery that we used in 1974?

How would you feel if your accountant completed your federal taxes all by hand without the most up-to-date software?

IMG_0066Would you buy a classic 1995 TV for your family room?

Society continues to change and evolve. We live in a constantly updating world. From the OS on our smartphones to the medicine we use to prolong and improve the quality of life, progress is at the heart of the American spirit.

We used to restrict water to athletes during training sessions and provide salt tablets; today we add water breaks to games when the heat index reaches dangerous levels. We learn . . . we grow . . . we get better.

Our schools are no different. We know more about learning, about development, and about measuring progress. We know that each individual child is unique; we know learning is personal. There isn’t a single test that will measure a student’s preparedness for success in the future; the whole child is at the center of the educational process.

We know that the lessons from competition – from bands, orchestras, and choirs competing for a rating to athletic teams battling rivals on the field and court – we learn from our experiences. We learn that hard work results in effort; we learn that we don’t always win. We improve through reflection – by analyzing our own weakness and seeking continued opportunities for improvement and growth.

Our instructional techniques continue to evolve and improve – we seek ways to personalize learning and create experiences that maximize growth at the individual level. Technology isn’t a panacea for educational challenges; technology is a tool that increases production and expands access.

Classrooms of today can’t look like classrooms from yesterday anymore than operating rooms of today can’t look like operating rooms from the 1980’s. We know more, we are better, and we continue to improve. We must resist the temptation to say “it was good enough for me so it’s good enough for my kids” because that simply isn’t true. The pursuit of excellence – the pursuit of progress – is as American as apple pie and westward expansion. It is what makes this great Country great. We don’t pursue excellence looking for the cheap, easy way to do things. The Hilliard Way is to invest in people and to relentlessly . . . to persistently . . . demand innovation, growth, and progress. This will insure that Hilliard students are Ready for Tomorrow.

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