Authentic citizenship

I thought I would share a thought on community and citizenship that came to me this week while preparing for today’s Flag Raising ceremony.  As you may know, staff and students will recommend a student for a Character Counts! Award on occasion.  That student is called up to the podium at flag raising and their behavior is shared.  This is a long-standing practice or tradition at Willowbrook School.  We have many deserving students and staff who demonstrate strong character every single day!

I recently re-read Peter Block’s book Community: The Structure of Belonging.  In his book, Block describes authentic citizenship as “holding ourselves accountable for the well-being of the larger community and to choose to own and exercise power rather than defer or delegate it to others” (p.55).  He goes on to introduce something called the Inversion of Cause (p. 65) in which our beliefs or thinking about who is in charge shift, causing the power base to shift.  This shift of thinking is profound.

  • What if our citizens created leaders?
  • What if an audience creates the performance?
  • What if children created their parents?
  • What if students created their teachers… their principal?

I believe the students and families in our Willowbrook community have created better teachers and principals.  We can become a more rich, diverse, and kind school community by actively looking for the gifts and diverse experiences within our student body.  There are so many to find and enjoy.

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