In response to the post, “Urban School Myth – Part 2,” a reader writes:

“I am new to LYS so I hope it is okay to comment!

Sean, you stated, “…the sad truth was in most cases the problem is easy to pinpoint, all you had to do was hold up a mirror.”

I sat through my first LYS training with you last week in the Common Assessments Development Camp. I think the biggest thing I brought back from that meeting was that I, and teachers in general, need to look in the mirror and see where we are lacking, thus failing the students. I am so excited about LYS helping us out. The last day of our training was yesterday, and I’ve already been on the phone with 7 different teachers from my school telling them all about LYS and the Common Assessment piece. Through my conversations with each of these teachers, I have reiterated the concept that we have to look at ourselves and see what we need to do differently. It is not always an easy task to self-critique, but I believe it is something that is necessary if we want to be better teachers for our students.

Thank you for your insight and we are looking forward to working with you and your team!”

SC Response
Great post! Thanks for writing in, and yes, whether you agree or disagree with a post, it is always OK to comment. This blog doesn’t exist if the LYS Nation doesn’t have an opinion or something it wants to write about.

I glad you found the Common Assessment Development Camp to be immediately valuable. It is my belief that the CA Camp puts a campus on the path to high achieving self sufficiency, but I realize that my perspective from outside the campus and the perspective from inside the classroom can differ.

The idea of looking in the mirror is not to blame educators for the problems that we face but to get us to recognize that adult practice is the most important variable correlated to student success, that we control. Once we accept that fact (instead of fighting it) and begin to act accordingly, we have yet to find the limit to what campuses and students can achieve. This doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen much more rapidly than most people imagine.

Also, by your actions, you are the “poster child” for LYS. People outside of the LYS Nation seem to think that we only address formal school leadership (Board, Superintendent, Principal, etc.). But that is not our sole focus. We work equally as hard to address the needs and improve the quality of the informal leadership in districts and on campuses. In fact, without a strong, student centered focus by a campus’ informal leadership, any hope of meaningful change is fleeting. Your advocacy is informal leadership at work.

Your enthusiasm is invigorating and we too look forward to working with your campus in the upcoming school year.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…