Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What Wayne Said....

     I love this time of the school year and likely not for the reason that might seem obvious - that it's almost over! I chuckle to myself when non-educator friends talk about the year winding down as they have no idea about how the emotions of staff, students, and parents wind upwards. No, I like this time of year for the reflection that occurs. Sometimes it is at graduation and other times at retirements of beloved colleagues. But it's always a positive experience from my perspective.

     It's also the time I invariably find my self thinking about those who have inspired me over the years and the mentors I have been fortunate to have. Lately, I find myself thinking a lot about my good friend Wayne Hulley. I can't escape recalling a phrase or two that he has used that provides me solace during a challenging moment or simply brings a smile to my face when I'm struggling to find my "happy place". I've created my top ten "Hulleyisms" that continue to inspire me to be the kind of educator he describes and models.
  1. What happens to you is very often beyond your control but your response to it is what makes the difference.
  2. Parents are sending the best kids they have.
  3. Different isn't always better but better is always different.
  4. Hope is the belief that all students can learn and that school staffs are capable of turning that belief into a reality. 
  5. In school improvement, no adults in the school are unimportant. 
  6. To change outcomes for students, schools need leaders who care enough and can express that caring to other people.
  7. Our time is now if we choose to make it so.
  8. School reform is as much an act of the heart as it is an act of the head.
  9. Effective schools are willing to undertake not just restructuring but also reculturing to reach their goals. 
     And my newest favorite (simply because Wayne agreed to write the foreword to the book Coleman, Weber, and I wrote) that demonstrates the ease with which he can synthesize material and bring it to a place that educators can relate to:
  1. School improvement will never be easy because it forces schools and teachers to change their behaviours.  However, committed staff, with constructive proven strategies can make a positive difference. 
     I know that all of us can think of inspirational figures throughout our careers and most of us have been blessed with positive role models. Wayne has been all of that and more and I feel very fortunate to have spent time with him over the last fifteen years. If ever there was an educator for whom the Order of Canada was designed, Wayne Hulley would be that educator. Thanks for the encouragement, support, and guidance over the years my friend.

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