I feel that is important to begin each year with intention and clarity. With that in mind, I look to our leadership definition to set my goals. Leadership at SMUS has been carefully defined as “the process of engagement which moves people from understanding to action in an environment inspired by trust.”
The first part of the definition refers to the importance of student engagement. Students are encouraged to investigate new interests and to deepen existing passions. Engagement is an attitude that one must choose and that will be seen in the classroom, outside of the classroom and ultimately as a citizen. To encourage engagement, each campus has a red “Activities Guide” with the various opportunities for students to explore. Through Councils at the Senior School students have voice and input into the culture of the school. Different clubs allow students to learn new skills, focus on a special interest and most importantly learn to work with a group of people for a common interest.
Our extracurricular opportunities have been a recent focus in the Globe and Mail.
The second part of our definition “…moves from understanding to action…” challenges us each to reflect on what we have learned and to determine how we will act with that information. It will remain critically important as our students leave our school that they have the courage to act and to contribute to making the world a better place on a local, national or global level.
Finally, none of this is possible without an environment where students feel that they can challenge themselves and take some risks along the way. SMUS must be “…an environment inspired by trust.” So our students can find their edge, push up against it and grow as leaders knowing that if they hit some bumps along the way, they will learn from them and be supported and encouraged to try again.
I will be thinking of our leadership definition, each student at SMUS, and the skills needed for the 21st century as I proceed with my priorities for the year.