Relationships are fundamental to St. Clement’s School; so much so that within our 2020-2025 Strategic Framework, to be launched soon, we prioritize them for our students as we believe that it is only through strong, trusting, and inclusive relationships, that deep learning and growth can happen.
It is important for more than just our students to feel they are learning and growing; and so I believe relationships must be nurtured with others while leading as well. And to be clear, learning and growth can come of the relationships that challenge us as well.
On Thursday morning our SCS Board Chair, Karen McKay, and I attended a webinar entitled Inclusive and Impactful Governance, hosted by the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) and led by Nouman Ashraf, Associate Professor and Director, Equity Diversity and Inclusion at the Rotman School of Education.
Nouman’s presentation was engaging and very helpful in reminding me just how important it is to nurture healthy relationships amongst those we lead- and consider the benefits of relationships that challenge us to look at things differently.
As Nouman reminded us as school leaders, “Leadership work is people work. If we cannot love them, we cannot lead them. To be clear… love means finding light in every person. Argue like you’re right and listen like you’re wrong…be wary of the decision on which you converge quickly. Ask each other: how might we think of this differently?”
These are wise words and a great reminder. For growth, positive relationships are vital and challenging ones are equally important.