What Stories Do Our Schools Choose to Tell? | Will Richardson | 3 Min Read

Let’s get right to the point: Everything you do in your school tells a story.

Every curricular decision, every hire, every budget line item, every communication, every policy — every single aspect of the way students experience your school defines what you value most, what you think is most important, and, in the aggregate, the story that people in your school community consume and share. 

And my sense is, most schools don’t fully grasp that concept.

I’ll never forget one opening day email that my son got from his high school principal. You would think that the first communication of the year would be peppered with “We missed you” or “We’re so excited for this school year” or “Here’s all the great new stuff we have in store for you.” Instead, after a couple of date and time reminders, the last line read “And we want to make sure we get the year off to a good start, so please review the dress code policy so you’re not in violation on opening day.”

That tells a story, no? 

And honestly, most of the stories schools tell are about order and “success.” I’ve walked literally hundreds of school hallways where…

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Will Richardson

A former public school educator of 22 years, Will Richardson has spent the past 15 years developing an international reputation as a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks, education, and systemic change. Most recently, Will is a co-founder of The Big Questions Institute which was created to help educators use “fearless inquiry” to make sense of this complex moment and an uncertain future. In 2017, Will was named one of 100 global “Changemakers in Education” by the Finnish site HundrED, and was named one of the Top 5 “Edupreneurs to Follow” by Forbes. He has given keynote speeches, lead breakout sessions, and provided coaching services in over 30 countries on 6 continents. He has also authored six books, and given TEDx Talks in New York, Melbourne, and Vancouver.