A bright future for student learning isn’t just a dream!! For effective and helpful leaders – having a clear vision or dream is an essential! In a very simple sense – developing a shared dream or collectively embracing a clear vision – is the work of leadership. “Shared dreams” or a “common vision” provide for positive action “moving toward the dream or vision”. Obviously, moving “to” the desired future is better and more positive than moving “away” from the current situation or the past!
What are your big dreams for the learners you serve in the next two, ten, thirty or fifty years? Yes, think long term and big! For starters, dream about them thriving as: thinkers, communicators, producers, builders, adaptors, collaborators and citizens.
Then add in your dreams for their access to, development of and use of technology – not because technology is an ‘end’ – more because technology may be, in part, a means to an end.
Additionally, dream about what learning centers (think here schools) might look and feel like – what would their cultures be like and why? Think about how a school setting might be more effective for more kinds of learners. Again dream big. Create visions that can and will inspire others.
Talk with others. Ask then to dream too. Share your dreams with others and ask them to share theirs with you. Build common dreams. Uncover shared visions: to co-construct the ideal.
Start to work hard work of moving toward the shared vision. Hard because the dream is dramatically important: Not hard because the vision is not shared and supported. Work with a commitment to the shared vision and be willing to learn, grow, develop and change (adjust) along the way.
Whitney, Trosten-Bloom and Rader in their book Appreciative Leadership write that leadership: “is the relational capacity to mobilize creative potential and turn it into positive power – to set in motion positive ripples of confidence, energy, enthusiasm, and performance – to make a positive difference in the world”.
Yes! We can create a world of greater learning for all students! Yes! We can build on our strengths, cooperate with others, contribute to the common good of a shared purpose and make a major difference for young people and their learning!