The Joy of Growing Schools: An Interview with Tammy
It was fairly early during the massive disruption of the COVID pandemic that we found an even deeper calling for our organization. Debate raged over how to manage schools in the midst of the crisis, with a very vocal contingent endlessly condemning administrators and teachers.
Like many schools and businesses, we were hanging on by a thread trying to survive. We love educators and could sense the exasperation and fatigue, so we started to create and share our Weekly Encouragement for Educators email along with professional development resources to encourage educators in their calling and commitment.
Checkout the backstory behind this transformation from Tammy's perspective.
The growth and development of people
is the highest calling of leadership.
— Harvey S. Firestone
Did you wake up this morning knowing that you're about to do something you love?
Will you do work today that's meaningful and uses your innate gifts and passions?
How wonderful would our schools be if every teacher, staff member, board member, coach, administrator, etc., answered "YES" to these two questions?
The highest calling in terms of professional career options is the path that makes a difference in people's lives, and all school employees and volunteers across the campus have the opportunity to do just that.
Educators connect, create, challenge, cajole, and collaborate to unlock the God-given potential of colleagues, students, parents, and others in their sphere of influence. Teaching truly is an act of faith and optimism.
In school, you're taught a lesson
and then given a test. In life, you're
given a test that teaches you a lesson.
— Tom Bodett
As Tammy shares in this week's Educators Among Us Podcast interview, we've learned so much on this journey as educators, as leaders of educators, and as developers of educators.
Her career spanned many different roles: Preschool teacher, middle school teacher, enrollment director, preschool director, etc. (She was even the director of The Sunshine Club, a volunteer position to encourage and celebrate special moments among the faculty) Tammy is now the President of School Growth, providing vision and data-driven expertise to achieve our mission.
One of the enduring truths we have learned through these many years of experience growing schools is: Talented, energized, engaged educators change the world!
We've witnessed the transformation of lives, families, schools, and communities resulting from such dedicated people, especially when combined with leadership that is disciplined and provides the optimal conditions for educators to grow.
Only those who have the calling for this work can sustain the poise and persistence to deliver excellence through all of the responsibilities, stresses, duties, and conflict. It's not easy, but it's worth it!
Other key takeaways from the interview with Tammy:
- Professionalism matters: Dress for the job you want rather than just settling for where you are. People's perceptions and responses are shaped by your appearance.
- School leadership is even harder than it looks, requiring the ability to work with people, navigate relationship challenges (especially with adults), and support educators.
- Creating and sustaining relationships among the team is crucial for a healthy culture and to build strong connections among students and parents. Silos are not good for schools!
- Everything impacts enrollment, especially the quality of the people on the team and their ability to trust and support each other.
- The best educators have an organizational intelligence, understanding the bigger picture of the school and the importance of their role as loyal ambassadors.
The joy of growing schools and developing people is what motivates us every morning, knowing we're using our innate talents today to do something beautiful.
Thank you for your commitment to finding joy on this journey because you provide the light that helps others discover their significance.
Love'em and Lead'em!