What does it take to reach one’s true potential? How would you know if you have reached yours? Can you know? Maybe not, however, you can commit to personal growth in a variety of aspects. Just as in physical fitness, as soon as you reach one level of fitness and muscle strength, you have to work hard to maintain it, and extra hard to reach a new level of fitness and strength.
Over the winter break, I was thinking about the concept of potential, how we can maximize our own potential, and what it feels like to be living and working up to your personal potential. I suspect there has been research conducted on this topic by individuals who are far more qualified than I am to write about it, however, I found myself focusing in on three aspects of living and working to one’s potential:
- Feeling a profound sense of accomplishment, a sense of personal satisfaction
- Experiencing many moments of “flow,” a state where time seems to drift away as the work you are doing is aligned with your heart and mind
- Understanding well your strengths and areas for growth in order to develop a roadmap for further personal development
Roycemore has long been recognized as a school that helps students discover their strengths, gain confidence, and push themselves outside their comfort zones in order to grow. Our focus on the individual student through differentiation of instruction, through specialists that can support students in understanding and managing their learning styles, and through enriching curriculum and instruction to foster appropriate acceleration for gifted students is part of the recipe at Roycemore to help students reach their potential. We have been teaching students new ways of learning through design thinking and project-based learning, and giving students authentic opportunities for interdisciplinary, real-world learning through Theme Week in the Lower School, P3 (Personal Passion Project) in the Middle School, and January Short Term in the Upper School. Our partnership with Northwestern University ensures students who are ready for college-level work can experience those intellectual challenges while still in high school.
These core aspects to our program serve students well, and I believe they, along with dedicated teachers who are committed to knowing their students and working individually with them in this phase of their lives are part of the reason Roycemore has successfully educated students for nearly 105 years. As we welcome a new year, a new decade—the third decade of the 21st century—this core philosophy still holds true. We must recognize, however, that the world is in a period of exponential change. How we think about reaching one’s potential, and the tools one needs to do so, needs deep consideration.
In the coming year, we will be embarking on a new strategic plan for Roycemore. Think of it as assessing and working toward the overall potential of our school. In preparation for this work, I would like to invite members of the community to participate in a series of conversations to contemplate what it means for a school to support individual students to reach their full potential. Among the questions to be considered are:
Q. What does it take to understand the capacity of one’s potential?
Q. What are the characteristics of schools and teachers that help students reach their full potential?
Q. What are the skills that schools must be teaching students for the future?
Q. What are the activities, experiences, and courses that are required for students to gain the skills needed in the new Industrial Age?
Q. What aspects of our program, schedule, facility, and partnerships do we need to re-think in order for this to happen?
These conversations will serve as a precursor to our strategic planning launch next year and help inform the work of the strategic planning committee.
Please mark your calendar to join us for one or all of these three dates to be a part of the conversation:
- Tuesday, January 21, 5:30-6:45pm
- Wednesday, February 5, 5:30-6:45pm
- Thursday, February 20, 5:30-6:45pm