While I'm quite sure I often drive my faculty crazy with quotes, anecdotes and other things for them to ponder, I will continue to throw things out there for them on a regular basis because that's who I am and that's part of what makes me the leader I am (for better or worse). Based on the response I got from my faculty, I consider this offering a success so I'm going to share it here. It should be noted that I am in no way trying to take credit for the following idea. Because the smart steal from the strong, I simply tweaked it to fit my needs.
While reading John Maxwell's book Developing the Leaders Around You, I ran across two words that caught my attention: thermometer and thermostat. Those two words got me thinking about how educators, in the classroom and in the schoolhouse, can choose either to be a thermometer (passive) or a thermostat (active). After some thought, I posed the following challenge to my faculty: "This week, in dealing with our kids and in working to make our school a better place, each of us can choose to be a thermometer or a thermostat. I hope you will choose to be a thermostat. When you know why, shoot me an email and explain." All day long my teachers emailed me their responses to the challenge. Most of the responses were very well thought out and articulated. Are all of my teachers suddenly thermostats if they happened before to be thermometers? Probably not. However, this idea hopefully will stay with them for a while and hopefully will have meaning for them for some time to come... at least until I throw out another quote, anecdote or challenge for them.