Building Community Through Adversity

by Meredith Monk Ford
Executive Director 

Over the past few weeks, in every conversation and through every email, I have been reminded about the power and promise of community.

School leaders are understandably overwhelmed. They are trying to process all the information, requests and needs being thrown at them. Yet through all this messiness, chatter and clatter, they want to connect: with their students, teachers, and parents – and with each other.

That came through loud and clear in Folio’s first virtual Town Hall sessions last Tuesday. Dozens of school leaders joined us to share their thoughts and concerns. Despite everything they were wrestling with, they took the time to jump on the call to hear what their peers had to say and to offer suggestions that they thought might help someone else.

These conversations were especially powerful for me for two reasons.

First, it reiterated the importance of school leaders being part of a community of colleagues. They want to hear about and share best practices. They value feedback. They need a safe, trusting place to pause and reflect. As they create these collaborative experiences for their teachers and school community, they also want it for themselves.

Second, these conversations will shape what Folio will become in service to our members and school leaders. It already has.

We are going to focus our time and resources on creating more opportunities for people to learn from each other. We’re going to create spaces for interaction and introspection, ideas and inspiration. We’re going to provide ways for our community to share best practices, and to build and maintain remote communities. As we encourage school leaders to offer their suggestions for supporting and celebrating teachers, we’re going to take our core values – collaboration and conversation – and help schools figure out how to make that happen.

A leader’s role is to create the space and time for conversation to unfold. Our members are doing that in their school community. Folio will be doing that for our community.

I encourage you to visit the new Resources page on our website at www.foliocollaborative.org/resources/, where we are constantly adding articles and tools to help you navigate these ever-changing times.

And, as always, I welcome your feedback and suggestions. What can Folio do for you? Please let me know. Be well.

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