Blog #2 The Westfield Way
The Westfield Way
This has certainly been a week, a month, a year of reflection. What I have learned as a leader and a person, however, is this: when our circumstances feel most uncertain and most unclear, I have more certainty and more clarity about what is truly important. And what is truly important deserves our focus. I have this written on my whiteboard this week: Are you putting your focus in the right place, all the time, every day? It’s a daily commitment.
When I think about this in the context of our school building, that is why a chief goal of mine this year is to provide communication and clarity around our mission and core values of this high school. Sometimes “how” we do things changes, but our “why” has not. In the last blog, I focused on our four cornerstones of culture. Check that out if you did not have the opportunity to read it. Today, I want to highlight the pillars of “The Westfield Way.” Living and breathing in the walls and hearts of our students and our staff--with love as the foundation, we all strive to be kinder, more present, more positive, and grateful. As we grow in these character qualities, we will become true servant leaders. And no one has a greater impact on our school, community, even our world--than a servant leader.
The Pillars of the Westfield Way are:
- Be Kind: October is always our “Month of Kindness” at WHS; we encourage our students and staff to outwardly express kindness toward one another and remind our student body of how to advocate for one another and put a stop to bullying. However, the kindness pillar is one we seek to keep alive all year long. This is an emphasis of our freshman mentoring program and we hope through modeling and education, we can see growth as we seek to be a community that is inclusive of all students and one that champions diversity and the unique backgrounds and experiences that help make our school environment the rich one that it is.
- Be Present: We miss so many wonderful opportunities when we are not living in the moment. When we are present, we listen well, we are engaged with our lessons or our peers and we don’t miss out on moments to connect with or help others. We learn more, we use our voice more, and we don’t miss opportunities for growth. In a time when distractions are all around us and it may seem easier to bury our face in our phones, so many things keep us from being present. We seek to help our student and staff community be in connection and not miss those important moments.
- Be Positive: We must never underestimate the power of a positive attitude and a positive word of encouragement to those around us. Our staff motto this year is: “Be positive. Be passionate. Be purposeful.” While all three P’s are important, positive comes first for a reason. It becomes the gateway for the others. When we are positive, all things are possible. We can solve problems, we can embrace flexibility, we can change the mood in the room, and we can help students believe in themselves when we stay positive. In a time when negative circumstances seem to grow in abundance, this pillar is more important than ever. I have been so proud of the way our staff and students have committed to positivity. This is one we must commit to multiple times every day, but it is worth the effort. As we all know, our attitude is a “little thing that makes such a big difference.”
- Be Grateful: Near and dear to us in the month of November, this is also a pillar we seek to keep alive all year long. When we are grateful, we do not grumble. When we are grateful, we possess spirits of giving and service. That grateful spirit becomes an act of service, and that act of service multiplies as we impact and affect positively those around us. We seek to be a school community that dispenses of entitlement and fully embraces service and humility. We embrace service and humility not because our own individual needs do not matter, but because by serving others we are becoming the best versions of ourselves. We are more confident, more content, and better leaders. We encourage our community to take gratitude walks, keep a gratitude journal, and to be openly thankful for what we have.
At WHS, we showcase our students and staff exhibiting The Westfield Way, so make sure you are following us on social media and visiting our website often!