Trick Mirrors

Or, Things That Seem True Right Now, Given The Appropriate Caveats Driven By Local Context And My Own Limited Perspective, Though I May Change My Mind In The Future Because I’m Reflecting On Millions Of Thoughts In A Hall Of Mirrors

There are many things I’m thinking about after this summer in India. Here are ten of them, in no particular order, and I’m excited to discuss what’s behind them with anyone, any time.

  1. Strong schools actively recruit parents and neighbors as educators, not to mention as chefs, custodians, instructional coaches, and administrators.
  2. Academic rigor has to take a back seat if trauma, poverty, transience, and toxic stressors have not been addressed.
  3. Private capital investments in the public education sector tend towards a morass of repulsive corruption, especially when it comes to buildings and land.
  4. Teachers have the capacity to lead a school on their own if parents and community members are empowered to provide observation, feedback, resources, and operational support.
  5. A healthy social organization needs a stable ground presence and stable leadership, even if there is turnover in the mid-level. That turnover can bring fresh ideas and talent, but if all three levels turn over, the organization is a flash in the pan.
  6. Putting a program on the ground, giving it a name, and publishing snazzy photographs of it doesn’t mean it makes an impact.
  7. Sometimes it’s better to turn down a gift if the strings attached to it will bind your hands.
  8. It’s easier to take pride in investment than in charity, because investment recognizes existing assets that can be built.
  9. There are a lot of students on this planet who deserve better educational opportunities, and meeting the challenges of each child’s intricate contexts requires a long-term commitment.
  10. There is nothing more exhilarating than the face of a child who is learning something meaningful.

Okay.

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