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Show and Tell…and

or one’s Jewish day school…

In our social media age, sharing successes and other details of our lives with friends, families, colleagues, and … even complete strangers, is commonplace. FB posts, Instagram pictures, and tweets with clever hashtags pervade our online world on a daily basis. I would even venture to say, given the ease with which we can share, people have a tendency to overshare – brag too much – about their latest accomplishment or their child’s latest school achievement. We send it all out there into cyberspace…but how often do we get something back that is personal, meaningful, and more inspiring than a virtual

Face-to-face gatherings – people actually talking to each other in person! – provide that special opportunity to see and hear people’s reactions to your successes in the moment. I recently had that opportunity as our GFA schools gathered together for three days last week in St. Louis to share – and learn from each other.

On our first evening together, one by one, representatives from each of our 16 schools stood up and – reminiscent of my own elementary school show and tell days – held up a physical object and talked about what it meant to them, their school or community. The objects represented a recent success or achievement by their school and/or community.

 

You might have thought that schools would feel competitive with one another, resulting in jealousy of each other’s success, but in this case people were genuinely delighted – even excited – for the successes of their peers. There was clapping and mazal tovs to be heard around the room…and hushed discussion among teams that maybe a particular initiative or event was something they could try to do.

 

“Sharing your successes publicly may sound a bit narcissistic, but there’s a good reason to boast about your achievements. Studies have shown that publicly sharing your progress can actually help motivate you to accomplish your goals.” So says Lisa Evans in a blogpost on FastCompany, a progressive business media brand.

 

Sharing was an explicit underlying theme for this conference – as a way to learn from each other. We talk a great deal about sharing “best practices” from the field but that night, and for the rest of the conference, I think we discovered that sharing best practices can best be defined as stealing good and proven ideas from others!

 

Let’s hope that our schools can replicate some of these innovative ideas for success in ways that are unique and authentic to their communities and constituencies.

 

Let’s hope that we can continue to inspire our schools by providing them with boundless opportunities to connect with and learn from each other!