What if we had schools based on the golden rule, where we treat each other the way we want to be treated? Too idealistic, you say? I think it is possible. It would take visionary leadership and a bonded, aligned adult team, clear expectations and consistent fair consequences for students. It would lift the energy and improve the atmosphere for all.
I went to a college that practiced the honor system: no lying, cheating or stealing. It worked, but I found that people who had not experienced it could not imagine its working. Some ideas must be experienced to be understood and appreciated. It is a powerful way to learn. It is the highest level of human interaction, empathic fairness.
We are all agreed that education needs to change, but how? In order for change to work and be accepted, it must come from the people who implement the change. It cannot be handed down to them; it cannot be administered.
People support what they create.
Teams who use the guidelines in The Power of Teams succeed.They work together and develop solutions to their community’s specific needs. They collaborate with other teams also working in this way to cross pollinate. It is a model I have seen work. I know it is possible. We can do this and the time to begin is NOW.
The process is simple. The results promising. Take the book, The Power of Teams, and implement the process creating your own product. The team process you practice with your fellow educators also works to transform classes of students into teams. Behavior improves. Children learn pro-social skills. Bullying disappears as students learn it is not tolerated and how to prevent or deal with bullies. School violence decreases. Students’ lives should not be put at risk because they attend public school. We can protect them by forming teams and teaching the skills of empathy, inclusion, and tolerance.
The true north, the truth we all aim for is the golden rule. We can create Golden Rule Schools. Once children learn the golden rule, it becomes easier to know the right thing to do. Children develop the ability to understand their own feelings and empathize with others. They learn values, morals and to behave in ways that support life and learning. They become able to connect with one another, cooperate, collaborate, and learn to learn together. Communication and problem solving flourish. People enjoy going to and being at school. They enjoy learning and being together. That is quite different from the way many people feel about going to school now!
Golden Rule Schools and the teams within them decrease the number of vertical, hierarchal, ranking processes we have in education and increase the horizontal, lateral, linking, partnership processes. Each person in school is valued for her uniqueness and important for her contributions to the whole.
We can use our creativity in a systematic way to transform education into a pleasant, productive, powerful process or allow it to continue to disintegrate. We know change needs to happen. We have been stymied as to how. Teaming is the process we need to transform our schools into places we would all like to be.
Check out The Power of Teamsand let me know how it works for you.