The Questions that Won’t Go Away

At the end of the year, I’m left with a number of questions that I am asking myself, and I long to ask many of you. They are the questions that require courage to truly address. They are the questions that strip away the sound bites, smiles, and confidence that is necessary to lead our schools. They are the questions that take us to the dark places. The dark place where we struggle, often alone, in our quest to transform our schools into places of excellence. These are the questions that I want to keep me up at night. These are the questions that have answers that come in asynchronous ways. Won’t you allow the summer to be a safe space to explore the tough questions that need to surround our work?

The Questions:

What is going to be fundamentally different about your school next year?

What huge risk for kids are you dreaming about implementing?

Do you truly still believe in incremental change?

With what school in the country are you most impressed because of the way that they serve kids?

Are you a disruptive force for your school and education as a whole?

Do you have enough courage to do this position?

What is your best example of how you model excellent learning for kids?

What fuel do you have in the system to promote students innovation and creativity?

Are your college-ready kids truly life ready?

Is your school a joyous place?

Are you dreaming big enough?

11 comments for “The Questions that Won’t Go Away

  1. June 3, 2013 at 2:45 am

    We’ve been asking ourselves these same questions at The American School in Lima. So we’ve put together an Innovation Academy that our community is rallying behind. It is fundamentally different, it gives 11th graders a HUGE amount of autonomy and control over their own learning, they get to do internships, learn with professionals, and it shakes up the traditional schedule in a number of ways.

    The cohort of kids is already excited as well. They’ve been reading about innovation in education, tweeting, buying their personalized domain names for online portfolios, writing press releases, and we’re simulating a full day of class on Sunday, June 9th. One of the activities: as a group they want to run a 5K for Down Syndrome awareness.

    We’re incredibly proud of the program, and we believe it’s easily replicated. If you’d like to find out more, here’s our website:

  2. sblankenship
    June 3, 2013 at 3:06 am

    Excellent post Dr. Dillon. These are very difficult questions that deserve deep thought and honest answers. I love that you stated, “These are the questions that I want to keep me up at night.” I believe this one sentence says much about the leader you are and desire to be. Thanks for sharing and causing me discomfort as I answer honestly from within. Shawn

  3. Derek
    June 3, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Excellent post and thoughts – looking forward to the opportunity to ask the same questions in the future! Thanks for sharing and encouraging me to do the same.

  4. June 3, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Dr. Dillon, Thank you for waking me up this morning with great questions to ponder. I put my answers on a blog post: I look forward to reading the answers and ideas from so many. The ideas mentioned above from Lima are exciting. Have a great day. – Maureen Devlin

  5. Western Dave
    June 4, 2013 at 3:32 am

    The best way to improve a school? Enact decent social policy.

    It’s politics that needs “disrupting” not education.

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