Simple Truth: Collective Strength Matters MORE than Individual Talent [SLIDE]

Oneof the guys that changes my thinking more than most is Paul Cancellieri — seventh grade science teacher and the mind behind Scripted Spontaneity.

Paul and I have talked a TON over the years about the mistaken belief that we can improve schools by doing nothing more than filling every classroom with a talented individual.  While talent certainly matters, it’s just not enough to drive change in complex human organizations like schools.

Instead, driving change in complex human organizations like schools depends on building high-functioning teams that can support one another — bringing complementary skills to bear against shared challenges:

(download slide and view original image credit on Flickr)

So the question — whether you are a principal, practitioner, parent or policymaker — is simple:

What are YOU doing to ensure that the teachers who serve the students that you care about are working on teams that are collectively strong?


Related Radical Reads:

Three Things Every Parent and Politician Needs to Know about Merit Pay

These are OUR Kids [SLIDE]

What Can Educational Policymakers Learn from Amazonian Explorers?

Are YOUR Learning Teams Playing Together?



Image Credit:
Band of Brothers by The US Army

Licensed Creative Commons Attribution on
October 21, 2012

One thought on “Simple Truth: Collective Strength Matters MORE than Individual Talent [SLIDE]

  1. Erica Speaks

    I’m with you, Bill.
    When it comes to teaching, the statement “no man is an island” is most certainly true. Whether you are talking about leadership teams, PLTs, or in middle school especially the interdisciplinary team… your teams in school are your family. Be they loving, or dysfunctional, or codependent: They are your family. Finding a balance of talents and strengths is crucial, while having to continually cover the weak members’ slack is draining on the goal of serving students.
    One thing I think is misunderstood by the public is your term a “talented individual”. As a classroom teacher, I think talent in the classroom can take many forms. Unfortunately, it seems talent in the classroom to those outside our profession = “able to get good standardized test scores”. Boo.
    You’re very fortunate. Finding a person that stretches your thinking, especially with whom you share a mutual respect and each bring skills from which the other can benefit, is a gift worth its weight in gold. However, it’s great that social media enables some of us to search for an “extended family” as needed.
    ~Erica :o)

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