Penny Evins on Future Leaders

Today I had the honor of speaking to Breakthrough students on Newman’s campus for Career Day.  I was struck with the passion and vision these young men and women have for their futures.  To make a difference is their goal and it is through serving as educators and educational leaders that they hope to do so.  They clearly understand that the path to a bright future is through education.  They were actively seeking answers and challenging the status-quo with thoughtful and engaging questions.

One student asked how you know you are making the right decision as an educator-what a global question and important thought to ponder.  I shared that I am not always certain that mine is the “right” answer; however, I shared that I have the luxury considering the individual student and our community of learners, parents, educators, and staff members in all that we do at Newman. Oftentimes the outcome is a tough decision that is best for the larger community and sometimes, it is what is best for the individual person.  There is no play book for much of what we do when we interact with people for a career.

Obviously, not all school settings are like Newman’s; however, I charged these future change agents with building community and supporting the layers of players in the lives of the children of tomorrow.  For it is not just the student we consider, but their entire support system within and beyond our school environment.  I believe it is through the relationships and conversations we have that our community is best able to serve the minds and hearts of our learners and therefore, our greater world.

It is wonderful to know that as technology buds and skills other than human interactions are honed for careers of tomorrow, that so many want to press flesh and interact on a more “old fashioned scale” in our modern world.   Certainly, or future will involve team work with those from varying backgrounds and with the advent of technology we are able to connect with folks in so many ways.  Therefore, teaching how to connect, converse, and understand each other is a skill that we as educators will continue to instill and focus upon for our students.  Whether Breakthrough students or Newman’s school year students, it is a privilege and opportunity to instill values and carry on conversations with tomorrow’s leaders.

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