As I look over my life, I often initiated change when my current situation was not my desired state. I then looked at the result I wanted and then made a plan to pursue and obtain it. I worked hard and, at times, put myself under considerable stress. I have watched administrators put their staff, especially core teachers, under pressure to increase standardized test scores.
Simon Sinek (2013) suggested that an organization’s leadership needs to start with “why.” In contrast, many administrators push grade level chairs to give a plan to increase school scores, at the expense of their “why,” which was “to equip students with the skills and tools to be successful.” The building-up or encouraging student cognitive growth wasn’t as crucial as identifying “bubble” kids from the stoplight data and focusing on specific SE’s to get them over the hump. Do scores increase? Sometimes. Does this demonstrate some measure of growth? Maybe. But it often comes at a high price. When you take away an educator's passion for empowering students and cultivating student personal and academic growth, a shift in the atmosphere happens. The culture and climate of the school often negatively change, and the staff turnover rate usually increases.
Sinek says that we should act, think, and communicate from the INSIDE out!
1) Know your WHY!
a. Know your purpose.
b. What is your motivation? What do you believe?
2) Plan your How!
a. Know your process?
b. Identify specific actions to achieve your “why.”
3) Know your WHAT!
a. Know what you do.
b. You WHAT is the proof of your why.
Currently, the Texas education system appears to operate from the OUTSIDE inward! TEA (Texas Education Agency) looks at data, whether student, school, teacher, or district scores.
In contrast, as educators, what would happen if we were allowed to concentrate on empowering and educating individual students instead of looking at them as a score?
What would happen if, instead of evaluating teachers by the totality of their student STAAR scores, we empowered them and encouraged the growth and vitality of their creativity?
What would happen if…
Maybe if Texas would work more from the INSIDE out, we’d go from 34th in K-12 public education per the U.S. News and World Report to maybe in the top ten.
Remember, your “why” is your passion…the motivation of your heart. I need to remember this too!
Start With Why - Simon Sinek TED talk. (2013, September 29). Retrieved March, 2021, from
These U.S. States Have the Best Education Systems. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/education