Building a better life together

There have been many references during the Covdi-19 pandemic to the fact that the traditional phrase for crisis 危機 is made up of two characters; one representing danger and one representing opportunity. 

But this is not quite accurate.  In fact the second character is better represented as “Change Point” which could be used as an opportunity but like all change needs careful and structured managing.

As leaders, we have a golden opportunity to rise from the dangers of the past few months, face the dangers to come, and acknowledge a change point from which an even greater way of living can emerge.  Some are calling this Building Back Better or Building Stronger.  We see this as a chance to build a better LIFE together.

For us, central to this process are the LIFE beliefs of courageous optimism, boundless creativity and heartfelt compassion.  We have also chosen to group our new thoughts for a brighter future under four headings:

  • How we will lead well
  • How we will teach well
  • How we will be healthy in body and mind
  • How we will build better communities

Teams of leaders, governors, directors and teachers met to create some statements which were not tick lists or check lists, not proformas or templates, but statements about how we want to be better.  We list them here for you with the simple hope that you too will reflect on them and pledge to use this change point as a stepping stone to a brighter and better future for yourselves and those you lead and love:    

How we will lead well

  • Having big dreams and lofty goals for what can be achieved
  • Showing heartfelt compassion in all things
  • Listening first and to everyone   
  • Not assuming anything
  • Seeing structure and order as part of a return to normality
  • Being agile, adaptable and boundlessly creative
  • Building togetherness
  • Communicating frequently, clearly and widely
  • Showing efficiency in our use of time, money and resources
  • Investigating new working practices

How we will teach well

  • Using a range of techniques and modes
  • Constantly recapping, reviewing and reflecting
  • Recognising the value of face to face contact
  • Using technology effectively

How we will be healthy in body and mind

  • Maintaining clean and tidy premises
  • Promoting and supporting good personal hygiene
  • Ensuring everyone is well fed with access to healthy food
  • Encouraging the use of counsellors and support groups
  • Understanding and discussing loss
  • Allowing space for conversations about our feelings
  • Sharing ways of making work manageable and pleasurable for everyone
  • Teaching and demonstrating resilience

How we will build better communities

  • Listening to each other
  • Taking time to really understand the views and experiences of others
  • Talking about the importance of culture
  • Embedding systems and approaches at all levels to show that Black Lives Matter
  • Understanding how unconscious bias affects each of us
  • Celebrating together
  • Deliberately building systems and structures that help us grow together
  • Relentlessly and courageously choosing to be optimistic

Julian Dutnall
CEO, LIFE Education Trust

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