Considering I never went to medical school, or even remotely close to that, I know far more about the human body and how our systems cross-function than I ever thought I would know, or even want to know. My husband has cystic fibrosis, so over the past decade of knowing him, I have learned a lot about our different organs and how one system’s shutdown can create an unfortunate domino effect for another. Or if one drug is taken to improve one body function, it could create an adverse reaction in another organ, causing other potential health concerns.
My husband’s health doesn’t usually intersect with my professional life, but it has recently occurred to me that schools are in some ways very similar to the human body. There are many different systems in schools—the classroom and its teachers, fundraising, governance, recruitment and retention, operations, and the community at-large. In my experience, it is common that school systems often function on their own, independently of the other systems, creating silos.
But to function at our greatest potential, we need to start thinking and acting like one unit with several parts. If you’re an admission director, what would you do without high-quality teachers? You wouldn’t be confident in the “product” you’re “selling.” What would you do without the development team? You would probably need to rely a lot more on full-pay families, making your job that much harder. Whatever role you are doing, you can ask similar questions. The point is, we all rely on one another to make our own responsibilities and goals achievable.
In my personal experience with the medical field, I have learned that any given patient can have multiple teams of doctors, each focused on their own specialty, but rarely communicating and collaborating with one another. From a patient’s perspective, wouldn’t it be great if all the doctors worked together to provide the best care for the patient without sacrificing one system over the other? So while the medical field is figuring that out for themselves, let’s be sure that the education field and Jewish day schools in particular are functioning like one whole system to ensure the greatest results for our children. How are your school’s systems collaborating? What steps can be taken to make it even better?