Summer ShadowI’ve worked in many different schools.  I’ve seen schools where the culture is like a family.  A place of love and learning.   I’ve also seen schools where it’s not. Where tearing each other down is commonplace.  I think sometimes the days go by, the weeks pass, and we wake up and things seem to have changed.  It’s not something that happens overnight, but little by little.  The positivity seeps through the cracks in the walls like air leaving a tiny hole in an inner-tube.  It’s not even noticeable at first.   It’s in the little, every day moments that you can see it.  Are people spending more time gossiping, or building each other up?   Are people celebrating each other’s accomplishments, or rolling their eyes at any recognition that occurs?  Are people helping each other be better, or too busy trying to be better than everyone else?  I’m convinced that if we let it, that slow leak becomes a big hole, and the inner-tube will eventually just sink.  People will then be too busy treading water, that the focus will become on keeping themselves afloat.   But there are other options. Everyone could come abandon their individual inner-tubes and come together to build an amazing raft that is indestructible.  One created with the kind of collaboration that’s about improving each other so the entire school can be stronger.  A raft that can survive any amount of rapids that are ahead.  One that is built on love and learning.