Blanchard Leadership Institute Middle and Upper School Sprint® Update

We did it! We have officially completed our Middle School and Upper School Sprint® with a Closing Workshop held the Thursday before Spring Break. What an accomplishment to celebrate! In the midst of a world-wide pandemic, where many schools across the country were not even meeting in person, we have not only been meeting in person, but have implemented ground-breaking new initiatives with our faculty and students.

All of our faculty in all four divisions and all of our Middle and Upper School students have now participated in the first of its kind Sprint® within the context of an educational environment. It has been quite the undertaking, but we are so proud of what our students and teachers have accomplished.

We have now shifted our focus to a pilot Sprint® for Lower and Intermediate School students that will begin this week in three classrooms. We cannot wait to see how our younger students tackle the concepts put forth in a Sprint®!

(For you readers who might be unfamiliar with our new Blanchard Leadership Institute, we invite you to click here to read more!)

We are also very excited to be in the planning stages for our Brookstone Community Sprint® in June. This Sprint® will be made available to our Brookstone alumni and Brookstone parents. More information to come! 

As with all new things, we learned a lot during this process. We have gathered feedback and data and will take all of it into consideration as we plan for next year. But since a Sprint® is all about improvement and developing a continual growth mindset, we could not be more pleased with the feedback we received from our students. This is just a snippet of it, but we thought these comments were worth sharing!

They were asked in our survey, “What was your most powerful learning or insight during the Sprint®? What most contributed to that learning or insight?” Here are some of their responses: 

  • Learning how to ask questions without thinking they are dumb
  • Through the process of small experiments I was able to accomplish a goal I thought I couldn’t accomplish.
  • I think the most powerful thing about this was learning more about myself and my habits and why I may do the things I do and how they affect me and others.
  • My most powerful moment was learning how to control feelings and manage time.
  • I learned I need to be more open to let other people share their opinions, and be a good listener too. I think the small, precise experiments really were the main contributors to that learning.
  • It’s really hard to do experiments that I don’t want to do. One of my experiments was putting down my phone for a long time and it was hard because I really like my phone.
  • I learned that you don’t have to start out with a big goal to be successful. Instead of having a big goal, I broke it up into smaller experiments to better tackle my idea.
  • I learned that everyone has something that they are working on, and you’re not alone in attempting to complete your goals. 
  • I learned that in order to make a change I have to keep myself accountable. 
  • I learned that just because I fear something doesn’t mean I should avoid it
  • I found the sprint to be very effective and helpful. I think that I finally understand I need to be a better listener and let others share their opinions more often. I feel like I can now grow in my relationships with others, and make even new ones. At first, I thought that this sprint might not actually help me with my problem, but I now know that it really did! I am very happy, because my improvement goal was really important to me, and now knowing that I can add my improvement goal to something I am good at, well, it makes me overjoyed, even if I still need to work on it sometimes. I would 100% do another sprint, and I am so thankful for everyone who helped me reach heights that I didn’t think were possible.

A couple of our amazing students were also willing to share their feedback via video for everyone during the Closing Workshop.

In addition to hearing from fellow students, we were also thrilled to hear from Kylie Potter, from Novartis, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Kylie is a part of the leadership development team at Novartis, a company known for their substantial investment in developing people.

We were also absolutely delighted to have Dr. Robert Keegan, world-renowned professor at Harvard University, share his thoughts with our students during our Closing Workshop. What an honor!

It’s been an incredible year and more is to come! We are grateful to be the first independent school if its kind to take on the mission of becoming a deliberately developmental organization – not only for the faculty and staff who work here, but for our students. The impact this will have on them will simply be transformative.

As Kegan has said in the past, businesses have long understood the importance of developing their people. It is a unique school that embraces that vision as well. Through the Blanchard Leadership Institute, our goal is to continue to be an “incubator of learning and talent” but with an even greater emphasis on personal growth and development. We have long worked for and achieved that goal in many ways, but thanks to our partnership with TDE, we are bringing more innovative tools and new concepts to the table that will simply change the trajectory of leadership here at Brookstone School.

Stay tuned for more!

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