Podcast S1. Ep.11: Our Schools Need More Hope, Meaning, And Purpose - David Geurin

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David is the Principal of Bolivar HS Liberators a National Blue Ribbon School in Bolivar Missouri. He is a National Digital Principal of the Year, a Speaker and Author of #FutureDriven - Will your students thrive in an unpredictable world?

We talk with David about how we all need to feel hope, meaning and purpose in what we are doing.


So much in our schools, it just seems like the grind can weigh us down, and the pressures that we face, and it feels like sometimes there are ... Everybody’s always wanting something from us. Our students are wanting from us. Our superiors are wanting something from us, whether it’s central office, or the principal’s office, or whatever. But what I really want is, I want something for you and for educators, and that is for them to feel a sense of hope, meaning, and purpose in what they’re doing...
— David Geurin

Episode Transcript:

  • John: Welcome to the CharacterStrong podcast, where we have conversations on school culture and leadership. Today is the final installment of a five-part series with David Guerin, principal of the Bolivar High School Liberators, a national blue ribbon school in Bolivar, Missouri. David is a National Digital Principal of the year, a speaker, and author of the book, Future Driven: Will Your Students Thrive in an Unpredictable World? Are you ready? Let's get CharacterStrong with David Guerin.

  • John: All right, I'm so excited to be back. Day five of a five-part series with Principal David Geurin. So wonderful speaking with you this week, David, learning from you. It's been that way from the beginning of getting to know you and the work that you're doing, and just appreciate you. Appreciate your intentionality, appreciate your vision, appreciate your drive, and more than anything, for being a champion for kids and for staff.

  • John: So on this Friday, this fifth day and I think about the blog that you wrote for CharacterStrong and these five things to consider about making your school more say, CharacterStrong or going after that climate culture piece. And you said in number five, "Everyone in our schools needs more hope, meaning, and purpose. We all need reminders about what's most important, and when we build connection and empathy into the rhythms of our schools, we are creating places where everyone will flourish."

  • John: Those are your words, my friend, they're inspiring. What would you say on this Friday as people are heading to school or listening in, or maybe they're in the middle of their day. Speak to them about why this work is so important, why we need hope, meaning, and purpose.

  • David: Hey, it's easy to have hope, meaning, and purpose on a Friday, right?

  • John: Absolutely.

  • David: It's a little bit easier, but wow, isn't that what we need? So much in our schools, it just seems like the grind can weigh us down, and the pressures that we face, and it feels like sometimes there are ... Everybody's always wanting something from us. Our students are wanting from us. Our superiors are wanting something from us, whether it's central office, or the principal's office, or whatever.

  • David: But what I really want is, I want something for you and for educators, and that is for them to feel a sense of hope, meaning, and purpose in what they're doing, and for that to be greater. I want to build that into our school. And, I think even whatever level you feel like that happens in your school, I would say you can bring it. You know, you can be person that helps to bring that change. Because every day you control your attitudes and behaviors. And really, culture and the environment that we work built on all attitudes and behaviors of everyone who shows up. It's not just, you know, one person.

  • David: So, if we're going to create that type of environment then, you know, we all have the responsibility to just bring our very best every day, and continue to grow our own capacity for creating a learning environment that is just filled with meaning, hope and purpose.

  • John: Love it. Love it. Well, my friend, I am thankful for you. I can't wait until the next time that we get to connect and talk about more on this topic of supporting the whole child, putting the focus back on relationships. Because, we know that those skills, whether we call them soft skills, character, leadership skills, whatever it might be, but they are going to always be a timeless principals that are needed in our individual relationships, and the greater community, and ultimately in our world. And, when you ask young people today about whether this is important there is no hesitation. You know, they don't have look very far to realize that we absolutely need to be putting the focus back on this. And so, I just wanted to say thank you.

  • David: Absolutely.


 
...if we’re going to create that type of environment then, you know, we all have the responsibility to just bring our very best every day, and continue to grow our own capacity for creating a learning environment that is just filled with meaning, hope and purpose.
— David Geurin
 

  • John: Thank you for the conversation. And, how can people connect with you? I mean, we've talked a little bit about your book, but I want to spend at least a little time here at the end of the week. How can people learn more about ... I know you're active on specifically Twitter, but let people know. How can they reach out and/or learn more, or connect with you?

  • David: Yeah. My best social media platform is Twitter. That's for sure, so as far as the one that I tend to interact the most with. And, so then the blog also, davidguerin.com. And, there's places on the blog to reach out there too if you're interested.

  • David: But, I just have to thank you, John. You know, since we met, and we started building this relationship, and meanwhile learned more about CharacterStrong. And then us having you in our school to train our teachers. And many said, you know, best training we've ever had.

  • David: And then, really I'm launching into the CharacterStrong advisory leadership programs, moving in that direction. You know, we're having ... I'm having the best year I've ever had. I mean, I'm just having so much fun, and this is just a big part of that.

  • John: That's great.

  • David: Finding the sense that, finding a very meaningful way since that, I just feel like we are moving in such a positive direction. And, you've been a big part of that, and CharacterStrong's been a big part of that. And, I'm excited for the future because of that. So, I have that hope, and that meaning, and that comes from this work, which CharacterStrong helps to provide such a great framework to be able to help our students have these skills that they ... As you mentioned, they know. They know how important it is, and we don't have to convince them of that. They get it. They want it. They're hungry for it. It's up to us. It's our duty and responsibility to provide this for them.

  • John: Yeah, well thank you-

  • David: So, thank you.

  • John: That means so much coming from you. And, give a big old like school-wide hug for me back when you come back to work, or even if you're still there on a Friday or whatever it is. But, I look forward to the next time that we get to connect. And, thank you for the work that you're doing on a regular basis of your staff, your students, and the greater educational community. Because, I know that you are thought leader, an inspiration to so many. So thank you, David.

  • David: Thank you, John.

  • John: All right. Take care.

  • David: Have a great weekend.

  • John: You too.

  • John: Thank you for listening to the CharacterStrong podcast. If you enjoyed this episode feel free to share on your social media. Please rate, review, and make sure to subscribe for future episodes on Spotify, and iTunes. Thanks for listening. Make it a great day.


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