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edu180atl: bret jacobsen 8.8.12

Today kicked off The Year of Collaboration at my school where I have the privilege to serve alongside some of the highest performing people I have ever been around.  At each seat, the following letter awaited their arrival.

Moment.  You have arrived at an extraordinary moment.

In this moment, start with questions, not answers.

Fail up.


Have fun.

We are not interested in red tape, fixed mindsets, low expectations, or blending in.  We are interested in solution seekers, ethical decision-makers, communicators, creative thinkers, collaborators, and innovators.

We are building something exceptional here.  We need the work of your hands, the wisdom of your mind, and the discernment of your heart.

Become the most of something in your field.  Look at the familiar as if you have never seen it before. Search for new ideas in new places.

Welcome to The Year of Collaboration.

At our respective schools, may this be a year that we stop making a case for change because change on a global scale has already taken place – technology, financial markets, and shifts in education.  Collaborate – our students deserve it.

Dr. Brett Jacobsen (@jbrettjacobsen) is the Head of School at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, a school of inquiry, innovation, and impact.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow! What a message to a team of teachers – I think there is a lot of power in a Year of Collaboration. To give anyone, at the moment of new beginnings, permission to “fail up” and “have fun” sets such a great tone. I hope you will post back, periodically, and tell us how the Year of Collaboration is progressing and what you notice happening on your campus as a result. It can be so freeing when we are given permission to ask questions, to view the familiar through fresh eyes, to share the best parts of ourselves with those around us. Seems like it’s just what we want our students to do, too. Thanks for the inspiration!

    August 8, 2012
  2. Brett,
    This is one of the most inspiring opening of school documents I have ever seen. It reminds me a lot of the inspirational note that Apple leaves for its new hires at their desks. I just wish that every teacher (and learner) got to hear a message as inspirational as this on their first day of school.

    August 8, 2012
  3. Maryellen Berry #

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post. The letter inspires, challenges, and engages. Fantastic!

    August 11, 2012

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