What Are You Looking At?

This summer I got some #adventure time with my hubby-who always indulges me with zip-lining, an activity which believe to be the perfect balance of safety and risk!  As I went through the pictures there were these two that caught my attention and brought me back to the book study that we just launched with my friends at Sigler Elementary (@SiglerStars #SiglerNation) on Student Voice: The Instrument of Change.

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These two pictures caught my attention, probably because they are the same picture, with a different focus. As I flipped between the two (honestly trying to decide which to post) I was reminded of the Aspirations Profile developed by the Quaglia Institute. In our current study of Student Voice, we are thinking about our students-but in examining these pictures, my thinking shifted to leadership.


The Aspirations profile provides four descriptors in relation to our future/dreaming and our present/doing.  During this study, I have been reflecting on my own work-and trying to identify  areas that aren’t hitting in the Aspirations Quadrant.

When I looked at the pictures, and then at the Aspiration and Persperation Quadrants-what I notice is that they are both identical, aside from the focus.

What we are looking at changes the picture. 

Despite copious sit-com depictions, the school leaders I know are the hardest working, most dedicated (sometimes to a fault) people I have ever met. They come early, stay late, go to sleep thinking about their schools/students and wake up with list of things to accomplish. Work ethic or the “present/doing” is not generally our problem! However, if we aren’t careful, it is often easy to get “stuck” in the cycles of perspiration as the ever-increasing requirements flood in email by email.

As the school year launches, I am going work on  keeping my focus on both the present and the future, priorize and negotiate my daily tasks in light of the dream or the vision for the future for my district, my department, and my personal goals.

My analogy: Riding a Bike (because as an English Teacher in my heart I always need an analogy)

  • Hibernation: Never getting on the bike.

  • Imagination: Sitting on the bike, dreaming of all the awesome places you could go…never putting your feet to the pedal.

  • Perspiration: Stationary Bike

  • Aspiration: Gettkng on the bike, pedaling, looking ahead, and moving down the road.

And I think maybe GREAT LEADERS ride these “fancy” bicycles…

Check out more from the Quaglia Institute: http://quagliainstitute.org/qisa/framework/profile.jsp


As always…I am still learning.