A Vision for the “4 Non-Negotiables for All Schools”

In a previous post, “4 Non-Negotiables for Schools“, I shared what I believe should be evident in all schools:


Charlie Hutzler, summed it up nicely on Twitter:

What I wanted to try my hand at was putting these ideas into a cohesive “vision” for schools as I have been thinking about revisiting my own Educational Leadership Philosophy. One sentence that brings these all together. Here are a few attempts I have made that are still a work in progress:

Attempt 1:

School should be a place where all learners feel welcome yet challenged, continuously grow and develop as people and learners, and curiosity is stoked, nurtured, and expands into all phases of life.

Attempt 2: 

Schools need to continuously develop the curiosity and humanity of all learners in an inclusive, welcoming and challenging environment.

Attempt 3: 

Schools should develop all learners to continuously grow as people, stoke curiosity, challenge ideas, and be an inclusive community to all.

A few things…

Curiosity was a word that was a non-negotiable in all sentences.

Learners is meant to encompass everyone in the school community.

Challenge (or challenging) was an important word for me to share here because I believe that when a school becomes welcoming, we have to be open to diverse ideas, whether we agree or not.  That is why “warm and welcoming” are so crucial.  It is hard to challenge ideas in a place where we do not feel comfortable with others.

I have written entire blog posts in a much shorter time than it took me to write those sentences.  It was a good exercise to try to put concisely in what I believe school should be.

I was inspired by one of my favourite “blast from the past” videos from Dan Pink talking about, “What’s your sentence?”  If you have never seen it, it is a powerful exercise:


I would encourage anyone reading this to try this on their own, or with their staff. What do you believe school should be for all learners?  What would your “school” or “classroom sentence” be?  I encourage you to take a look at what I wrote and share your thoughts, or write your own “school sentence”.  This was a great learning process for me, and I encourage others to go through the process themselves, or with their staff, and see what you come up with.

Source: George Couros

One Comment

  1. Siddhartha Bagchi said:

    Do you think “challenge ideas” could be rephrased as “welcome and build on ideas”? We are consistently trying to change our language from “No, but…” To “Yes, and…” and where we are able to do so it’s making a difference.

    December 24, 2016

Comments are closed.