Begin (Again) as We Wish to Continue

Submitted By:
Milyna Phillips, Phillips Collaborative, Washington, D.C.

Back to Basics, Not Back to "Normal" by Eric Hudson
Global Online Academy Insights Blog, August 23, 2022

In this article, Eric Hudson, Chief Program Officer at Global Online Academy, provides the reader with insight into the ways schools are focused on closing "culture gaps" and solidifying their core values and identities. Hudson's experience leading professional learning workshops in 2022 signaled that schools are looking for sustainability and ways to listen more effectively to their communities' needs. Putting belonging at the center, Hudson outlines how schools are approaching this work while reevaluating the five basics of their communities: culture, learning, partnerships, teaching, and leadership. By acknowledging that school culture requires work, where are communities creating space for students and teachers to be seen and heard? Are communities examining whether they are aligned around shared, learner-centered goals? How are schools deepening their ties to their local communities in sustainable ways tethered to learning? In what ways are schools supporting teachers in their professional learning in order to prioritize joy and purpose? What does it look like for school leaders to practice human-centered leadership and model their community's values both implicitly and explicitly?

Given the rollercoaster of the last two years and the burst of energy of the last two months, this article will be instrumental for independent school leaders considering the next iteration of a process, policy, professional development opportunity, unit of curriculum, or reengagement of a constituency. With urgency and intentionality, Hudson sketches a blueprint of where schools should begin again.

Leadership Practice
Social-Emotional Learning