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Synergistic strategies emphasized at Mitchell Elementary School

For those of you who have read my monthly contribution to this column, you can tell by now that I am thrilled to be the principal of a Lighthouse School because of the empowerment that the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People provides to us in our classrooms and our community.

The habit I am focusing on today is Synergize.

It might be easy to think that we can use synonyms for this habit such as cooperate or collaborate; however, to do so would be to miss out on the essential component of this habit. When we synergize, we actually create something that is more than what it was when we began.

In the classroom, our teachers use synergistic discourse strategies such as partner talks and think-pair-shares.

Discourse strategies such as these have students talk to help take ownership of their learning; however, by speaking with classmates about their learning they are able to consider the perspectives of their classmates and add to their own knowledge.

Synergistic strategies are also important for the adults outside of the classroom. As humans, professionals, and community members, we are always faced with some type of change.

Our best responses to change will be generated through our discussions with each other. When we are able to listen each other’s thoughts, perspectives, and experiences, we can work together to create responses that are designed to support success for all members of our community.

In the three months that I have been principal, I have been fortunate to engage in so many powerful discussions with students, staff, and families. By getting to learn what we all value, we are able to build a future filled with opportunities for all of our students.

Thank you all for your thoughts shared quickly in passing, during longer conversations, and at our monthly School Organization Team meetings. I look forward to many more conversations where we are able to learn from each other and create the best school community that we can be.

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