Who Are The Joneses Anyway? (by Jennifer Wagner)

During the summer, many have the opportunity to travel to conferences around their area or around the world. With that, comes ample opportunities to learn a great deal from experienced speakers, gather ideas to take back to your campus, mingle with people you only know from online, and it is easy to start comparing your school to the schools you hear about.

And when you start to compare, usually the one who doesn’t measure up is your school and with that, comes the beginning tremors of discontent.

So, while you are listening to people share about how great their school is, please keep these thoughts in mind.

  1. Their school does not have you. Your school does and that is a BIG PLUS for your school.
  2. Their school does not have your administration. Regardless of what you feel about your administration, someone somewhere thought they were qualified for the job and the school needs to develop ways of communication between admin and faculty and students.
  3. Their school does not have your facilities. Newer, older, wireless, or not. Your campus has benefits and personalities that others do not. Find those, embrace those, and capitalize on those.
  4. Their school does not have your budget or tech plan or computer set up or curriculum or acceptable user policy or filter program or email system or software loaded or……… Look at what you have and not what you don’t have and then move forward.
  5. Their school does not have your staff. Every campus has teachers who should be cloned and teachers who should be…..not cloned. But often times, when you step back and look….the sum of all the puzzle pieces of staff often do merge into one pretty workable puzzle.

Any administrator will tell you that their campus is not perfect and any administrator will know that you accent the positive of your school and continue to work on the negative.

But still is easy to compare and it is easy to grumble.

~~I could look at White Oak School where all K2 teachers have brand new ipads and start grumbling over why my teachers do not.
~~I could look at St. John’s where their 7th – 8th campus is a 1:1 campus and start grumbling on why my campus is not.
~~I could look at Bishop Dunne where the IT department has windows in their office and I do not….and start to grumble.
~~I could look……. well, you get the point.

During this summer of conferences….listen to the ideas presented that other schools are doing and sift through their ideas with YOUR CAMPUS in mind. Remember their uniqueness makes it work for them and your uniqueness has positive traits as well. And also ask the “how did you get here” questions. There usually is quite an interest road that was taken to get where they are now.

And also realize, ever so often a bit of exaggeration works into session discussions. So don’t compare your school to something that might only exist in someone’s someday thoughts.

But most of all, stop comparing your school to others as what yours should be and instead start building your school to what it can be. You don’t want to be a carbon copy of “insert name of perfect school here.” Remember, regardless of what you hear at conferences, what they are boasting of that works on THEIR CAMPUS is because of THEIR SITUATIONS. Take the ideas but remember your campus is unique with its own positives and negatives and weave their ideas to work with your own.

This post can also be read at http://jenuinetech.com/blog/?p=1460