“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot. Together we can do great things.”—Mother Teresa
I’ll admit it. I am a competitive person. I am not sure what made me so competitive. Perhaps having an over-achieving older brother who I was both inspired and frustrated by. Whenever one has a sibling, there are natural comparisons. Even with parents who work hard to avoid those comparisons it’s difficult. My parents were great at encouraging me to pursue things that they saw that I had natural inclinations with and supported both my brother and me as we discovered those things that we both loved and had strengths in. They supported the development of our passions. I would have benefited greatly as a teenager if I had been introduced to the 7 habits—especially “think win-win.”
In a school setting, we support our students to think win-win and “fill each others buckets” by acknowledging the individual strengths and talents of their classmates. A win-win approach is an attitude that embraces others’ success, believes that there is “enough for everyone”, and fosters collaboration for the good of all. People with a win-lose mentality can become jealous and envious when something good happens to another student. They might try to gain recognition or achievement at the expense of others. They might even spread rumors about others. On the other hand, people with a lose-win mentality tend to have low self-esteem, give in to peer pressure, and allow themselves to be walked on by others. A lose-lose mentality is even worse and can be identified when an individual seeks revenge on another, has a desire to win at all costs, and has the belief that if they are going to suffer, then everyone should suffer.
This past week, the Lower School participated in Theme Week with the theme being Climate Change. Students created inventions, often in teams to combat climate change. Innovations included a Turbofan Condensing System, a Satellite Holding Building and “Cities Savers” an invention that identified a way to pump water from the ocean, filtrate it for people to use, and then recycle appropriately to go back to the sea. The students identified problems of coastal cities such as Seattle, Portland, Miami, New Orleans and Houston and developed a win-win invention for them.
Also, this past week, a number of members of our community joined us for the showing of the film, Most Likely to Succeed to serve as a catalyst for further conversations this spring we’re calling, NextGen Roycemore. The subtitle of the film and book is “Preparing our kids for the innovation era.” Thinking win-win is an important element to the kinds of shifts in our educational system that are being proposed in the film. As Harvard’s Tony Wagner says in the film, “To have good prospects in life—to be most likely to succeed—young adults now need to be creative and innovative problem solvers.” Our Lower School students were deeply engaged in this kind of problem solving—tackling one of the most pressing problems that their generation will have to work together, and creatively solve—climate change. As Mother Teresa wisely said, “Together we can do great things.” We teach our students that. And I invite you to be part of the continued conversation of NextGen Roycemore.
I am still a competitive person, but I am focusing this natural tendency of mine toward a win-win, of working in partnership with our community to make Roycemore the unquestioned choice if you want your children to gain the skills to be creative and innovative problem solvers. Join us on Tuesday, March 13th in the school library from 6:00–7:30 pm to participate!
“Great things are done by a series of small things that are brought together.”—Vincent Van Gogh
In partnership for our students,
Adrianne Finley Odell
Head of School