On behalf of our team at the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership, I am writing to wish a happy and peaceful new year to all of CEL’s partners, peers and supporters. I write this year with hope and optimism for what the coming decade will hold for students, educators and school communities nationally. For our team, the past year was an exciting one in which we released a new vision and mission, deepened our partnership with school systems across the country and engaged in development work that will produce new and revised frameworks in the coming months.
While CEL’s vision and mission energizes our people, it is the work side-by-side with thousands of leaders across the country that fuels our commitment to becoming an even more student-centered and equity-driven organization. CEL enters this new decade with a passion to see how far we can push ourselves and support our partners to create limitless futures for the students they serve.
At the heart of our work is the conviction that teaching and learning will only truly improve if leaders commit to the student experience as a crucial lever for change. If the past decade was one in which teachers’ and leaders’ primary job was implementation of standards, evaluation systems and programs, this next decade must focus on how school efforts impact the experiences and learning environments of students. CEL is committed to working with school systems and leaders who aspire towards schools where all stakeholders experience:
- Deeper learning
- Community and belonging
- Happiness and pride
- Teaching, learning and leading
For this to happen, we must recognize that student experiences will be no better than those of the adults in the school community. Student ownership and agency is not something that can be implemented; it is something that must be cultivated and nurtured every day in a school culture that makes teaching, leading and learning everybody’s responsibility.
We can’t wait to join school systems and their students in the exciting and critical work ahead. In this next decade, may our collective efforts be as strong as the hopes and dreams of our students.