Twenty-four ISG Jubail faculty members took two days out of their four-day National Day weekend to focus intently on sustainability and systems thinking. The session, led professionally by one of our own faculty members, Tom McLean, was designed to lead to a level 1 certification from Compass Education.
Oftentimes in my life, I don’t appreciate special relationships, situations, and places until they are gone. This was not the case for me today. As I left the Compass training, I knew immediately that I had just taken part in something special with a special group of people. It was the kind of circumstance in which a person is lucky to find himself or herself a few times each decade. Clinically, the training was intended to give us the ability to work towards a more sustainable future using systems thinking tools that take into account the complex interrelationships of nature, the economy, society, and human well being. That statement alone does almost nothing to explain why even the most stoic among us were doing their level best to keep dry eyes during the closing.
This tells us something about the trajectory that ISG Jubail is on, and the momentum that has been developed by leaders throughout the school. By leaders here I don’t mean those of us in formal leadership capacities; I mean leadership by those who are doing the work that matters most in classrooms, with students, everyday. These leaders truly inspire me as they reflect upon the emotional journeys on which they find themselves as they change practice in their classrooms and struggle alongside their colleagues in teams to craft the very best outcomes for students.
We learned to use new tools and new lenses to better understand the complexity of the systems in which we work as educators. We also began to discover leverage points where we might best intervene to bring about positive change. Most importantly, we rediscovered the human system that supports and sustains us as ISG Jubail. I feel incredibly fortunate to be amongst such thoughtful and talented people.