Speaking with an early-ed teacher in Hawaii, he shared what his keiki (children) would carry on from his school, no matter what schools they moved on to from there.

“We set them up to be leaders at their new school,” he said. “They make it a better place.”

I wonder, what could be better than that?

What could be better than providing your students with the power to make places, people, communities––everything, really––better?

To me, that’s the mission of our places of learning. Because if schools won’t commit to their students’ well-being, to the meaning, fulfillment, and success people feel when they make others’ lives and the world somehow better, we all will continue to feel the consequences.

To assess your commitment to contributive learning, here’s a quick question all educators can ask: Wherever they go, and whomever they meet, will our students add––will they contribute?

If the answer is “no,” then their learning is wasted. Or, worse still, when your students move on, they’ll use what you taught them for wrong––to subtract, from places, communities, and other people’s lives. And we know that the world doesn’t need more of that.

Think about what it would take to say “yes”––to transform your school into a place where your students will learn to use all of their powers for good.