UW Danforth Educational Leadership  Program

UW Danforth Educational Leadership Program

[Jen] What does it mean to act on your beliefs,
what does it mean to think every child must succeed and do something about that.
[Kelly] Leadership is a funny thing, you know it’s not like you get to a certain place in
your career and then you become capable of being a leader. It really is something that’s
inside of you and Danforth does an amazing job at helping you realize what those things
are and then growing them. [Eva] You’re coming in and leading for instructional
change that’s going to result in more kids learning at a higher level.
[Robert] In education leadership is entirely about moving systems.
[Melissa] I always knew that the name was kind of the name to have, if you were going
to be a, if you’re going to get a credential you should get a Danforth credential.
[Robert] I was excited about the idea of finishing in one year.
[Sonja] It’s the way school is supposed to be.
[Eva] It is an intense program but what makes it such a strong program is the field work
and the ability to get out there and just you know be the leader.
[Sonja] You need to throw people in the deep right off the bat.
[Eva] We want you to have those experiences that blow your hair back and that you know
knock you off center, and force you to think in the moment and use good judgment.
[Sonja] Yet provide a lot of support so that as you’re learning to swim in the deep end,
you’ve got your support team with you and you have people you can reflect with.
[Jen] What’s really powerful about Danforth is that it connects people to their beliefs
and each other and that as they go through the program it asks people to deeply examine
their beliefs and to talk about that with people and to think about on the ground in
daily life. [Robert] We have really rich opportunities
for dialogue that I don’t get in any other professional learning.
[Sonja] It didn’t just affect my job, it affected who I am and it affected what I do outside
my work as well. [Kelly] I’ve gown a lot as a human being,
my wife thinks it’s what changed me enough to make me marry-able. I mean Danforth was
instrumental in showing me what the job really entailed.
[Jen] So it’s every interaction that somebody has in a school, it’s not one large mission
statement, it’s not one grandiose thing that you do, it’s implicit in every, in the way
you look at the work you do every day. [Sonja] And having that moral compass of being
able to kind of close your eyes and listen to your heart and say what is the right thing
to do and being willing to do what’s really difficult.
[Kelly] And the mentors that you meet and that work with you in Danforth, they stick
with you and call you and check in on you and that type of leadership support has been
really powerful for me. [Jen] Education is the only hope we have democracy
and this work is about furthering it in concrete ways.
[Melissa] Danforth is the way to get from good to great.

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