Whether or not the use of any new technology is successful depends upon how much we know and understand, not only its capacities, but also how it is best used in our environments.

Creating the environment for an education summit such as this is laudable. But, we want in. We all want what is best for children. We are the closest to the heart of the matter.

Mental illness is confusing and frightening and has been ignored or pushed aside as an issue for our schools and for our country. Beginning by learning more, opening conversations in our districts, with our colleagues and with experts will be a step forward.

Word spreads easily when we are against something. Negativity loves company. But public relations is a profession and it is not in our training. It is not a matter of defending our profession. Rather, it is a matter of being better at sharing what it is we do and inviting conversations with those who do not understand.

If those legislating the changes want to improve schools, let's get better at voicing an alternative to their plan. Let's have that plan encompass more than a demand for more money. That 20th century strategy will no longer work.

We need to get better at teaching the public what it is we do, what our work truly is, and the process through which we all go in order to get where we are headed.

We can learn an enormous amount about how to make schools happier and healthier places for both children and adults by studying what psychological qualities the most committed teachers possess.

Make a commitment to acknowledging the little things. Those acts are encouraged when recognized, actually by anyone. These acts are the ones not explicit in a job description of the faculty or grades of students, but they do call us to a higher level of being human.

Leading requires that we navigate today's reality in the context of the territory ahead. Planning what our schools will look like moving forward is essential. Innovation includes knowing what the barriers may be and planning around them.

On Tuesday, Bill Haslam, Governor to Tennessee announced a new state program. Called the Tennessee Promise, it will guarantee two years of a community college or two years at a college of applied technology to all graduating high school seniors.


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