November 6, 2018
Today, as those who did not already participate in early voting head to the polls to select local, state, and national leadership, it seems like the most appropriate time to talk to you about change. I know for some, the idea of “change” induces a broad array of emotional—or even physical—responses.
Most Americans, according to the annual Chapman University Survey of American Fears (2018), are currently “afraid” or “very afraid” of an odd assortment of perceived and/or possible sets of circumstances ranging from government corruption to environmental catastrophe, medical bills, war, and just over 7% of those surveyed were basically terrified by clowns. Many of the issues that ranked at or near the top of the most-feared list, however, involved change—especially change that isn’t always possible to anticipate. This post is not to poke fun at others’ fears, or to discredit, minimize, or otherwise dismiss what for many is a legitimately emotionally crippling state; rather, I would like to take a few moments to encourage our Greenwood School community to be excited about the opportunities that are available to use through improvement. What is improvement? It is simply change that has a defined purpose, plan, and supports attached to it!
I wrote to you all earlier in this year about the School’s Continuous Improvement Plan (see August 14, 2018 blog post), and the goals we had attached to it. I’ll be giving you a full update in January on our first semester progress toward those goals. About the same time, I’ll be starting to ask you all questions about what Greenwood does best, the type of student(s) we are best at serving, the skills in which we excel—and conversely, where we could use the most improvement. What I ask from each of you who are stakeholders in this partnership—Greenwood faculty and staff, parents and guardians, and students alike—is open and honest feedback to those questions (please do keep in mind, as you respond, what I said in the October 23rd post about Kindness!).
My point today is simple. When we deliberately plan to improve and hold ourselves accountable to the plans we make, that is us owning change. That is us, removing the fear from the equation, and using change to improve ourselves as a community. I hope that you will all eagerly participate in creating the plans for sustainable growth of Greenwood School—you’ll be hearing more from me in the coming months about how you can be involved in these exciting growth opportunities!
Dr. Anthony D. Mortimer
Head of School
The Chapman University survey cited above may be viewed in its entirety at https://ssrs.com/americas-top-fears-2018/