Our Outward Mindset

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March 6, 2024

The system we use at IDLA to develop our team culture encourages each team member to be “outward-minded.” Being outward-minded defines how each of us looks at others. When I look at another person, do I see them as someone valued and important? Or, when I look at another person, do I see them as an obstacle and someone less important than I am?

Looking at others as valuable and important is critical to accomplishing our mission as the state virtual school. Each of our districts and schools is equally important. Our students are individuals with goals, dreams, and promise. As an educator, I need to be equally invested in the successes and challenges of each student. 

It’s easy to see someone else as a problem, especially when they may appear to be a barrier to whatever I’m trying to accomplish. If that’s how I view someone (as a problem), how do I make them feel? Like I care about them and support them? Probably not. 

To make someone feel cared for and valued, I must see them as important as I see myself. The care and support I express to them are genuine; they know I am here to help them succeed. 

I stated above that an outward mindset is critical for IDLA to accomplish its mission. We support every district and school in the state. Each district and school has its own set of challenges. Some may be similar, and some may be unique. We can easily focus on the common challenges many districts share. It’s hard to take on the unique challenges that may just impact a school or two.

Looking outward, we have to see each district’s challenges as important, whether they are common to each other or unique. Our District Programs team works hard to maintain a connection with each school and district we serve so we can be aware of their needs. Our Curriculum, Supervision, and Instruction Teams work hard to create a solution that will help meet the individual needs of our districts. Our Technology and Operations Teams find innovative ways to implement and support the solutions needed to meet district needs. 

The easy path would be to say some things are simply too hard. By doing so, we turn from those who may need us the most. Instead, we embrace the different challenges each district, school, and student may bring. We commit to each of you to focus on these challenges until we find a solution. You are important to us, and so is your success.

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