I’m currently reading “The Power of Moments” by Chip and Dan Heath and the ideas they present resonate strongly with me. Their perspectives made an impression on me both personally and professionally.
According to the Heath brothers, when we think back on experiences, we mostly recall the high or low points and the endings. Think back to your own experience in school, for instance, and what stands out? For most of us, an experience - rather than a particular lesson - rises to the top.
According to the Heath brothers, for an experience to become a truly memorable moment, it provides either:
- elevation (going beyond expectations)
- insight (learning something new about oneself)
- pride (feeling personal fulfillment)
- or connection (sharing the moment with another person).
This book, recommended by Jim Boen, helped me focus on the power of small great things . It reminded too me that the words we speak to each other — especially to our kids — matter a great deal and can have lasting effects.
Moments in Our Schools
My hope, and my expectation as we head into a new calendar year, is that we continue creating positive memorable moments for our students.
Many of you are doing this already in your schools and classrooms. I think of students at Silver Rail donning homemade super hero capes, climbing on school buses and spreading songs and gifts of kindness throughout the community one day last year. I think about the Technology Walk effort at Mountain View, where every Wednesday high school students got to visit a different local tech company and talk with industry experts. I think about the student at William E. Miller who wanted to serve as principal for the day - and then superintendent for the day (that one was a memorable moment for me too).
Often these moments can take extra effort, and require us to think creatively. But I believe the effort is worth it. While students may not remember the content of every lesson we teach them, the moments will absolutely stick with them. Moments show our students that we care about them and that we believe in them.
Shay Mikalson, Superintendent