It’s time for a change… but this is a personal, not a political post. After 15 years as Senior Advisor to the International Center for Leadership in Education, ICLE, and over 20 years of commitment to increasing the three R’s of Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships in schools, I left ICLE earlier this year.
I have always believed that Relationships, ICLE’s third “R”, is not the only the most important, it is absolutely essential. As my friend, Ray McNulty first said, “Relationships make the Relevance possible”. And It’s only when those first two R’s are firmly established that we even have a shot at Rigor for all students.
I learned these lessons from my own life, and I write about them in my new book, The Chemistry of Culture, and in my Blog here at www.jimwarford.com. I’m at a point in my life that I only want to spend time on what is most important to me. And I want to focus on Relationships as the foundation for creating effective culture.
My new home for this work will be the Peter R. Marsh Foundation, a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) here in Washington State, where I have assumed the role of Program Director. Our mission at the Peter R, Marsh Foundation is to promote and support Social Emotional Learning, SEL, in high school students. It feels so good to be back in the non-profit world.
Through our Silent Servant Award, we will recognize and financially reward students across America who unselfishly provide voluntary service in their communities. We will offer resources and support for schools choosing to make Relationships, and their school culture, a priority.
In my new position, I will continue to write, speak, and develop resources to help support schools and communities in building better relationships, stronger social emotional learning, and a more positive, effective culture. The Peter R Marsh Foundation is passionate about Servant Leadership and Service Learning. Our goal is to inspire today’s youth to greater empathy by making service to others a priority in their lives.
As a result of the pandemic and growing racial unrest, I believe our Foundation’s vision and mission has never been more important or needed. I have been writing and speaking for some time about the growing body of brain research showing the damage being done to our students’ social-emotional skills by their increasing use of technology.
If you want a better culture through improved relationships, increased empathy and service learning, you must be intentional in how you work on it. I am grateful to be part of offering a simple step on the path forward. It’s time for a change.
Nice post Jim and thanks for the shout out! Your new work aligns well with who you are and what has always guided your thinking.
You’re so welcome, Ray!
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