We feel privileged to be in the room when a close-knit team decides to invest time in meaningful conversation about purpose, shared values, and the emotional impact of their work. Listening to a passionate group of individuals rediscover and name their North Star is energizing and inspiring.

Such conversations don’t usually start with a mandate for change. It’s the more basic questions – “How can we work together better?” or “Are we having the right impact together?” – that triggers some of the best conversations we see.

That’s how our two days of discovery with the faculty at Tuckahoe Montessori School began. Head of School, Amanda Edmondson, wanted to start the school year by creating space for her team of teachers to connect, build alignment, re-engage for a new school year, and have fun.

Floricane’s Kathy Greenier and John Sarvay spent two half days with the team to focus on their mission, vision, and shared values. What that really means is we created room for them to have effective conversations as a community of purpose-driven teachers. From that discussion of purpose, passion and commitment emerged common language to transform their work and their behaviors.

Tuckahoe Montessori School takes its mission to build community and engage the hearts and minds of its young students seriously. Their arms are open wide. Their work is big.

During our time together, the faculty engaged both broadly and deeply. They painted with generalities and with specifics. It was important for them to connect all of the dots, and to understand what might be left out.

Our work as facilitators meant helping the group uncover their own best answers by asking questions, and then stepping out of the conversation. Being prepared to pivot, to shift our own energy in response to theirs, was important. Allowing the teachers to get into the weeds, then drift to the grass tops, helped ensure their best ideas came into the room in powerful ways.

We took a brief pause with the school so they could do their best work – welcome more than 100 students back into the classroom. We’ll re-engage with them later in the fall with refined mission and vision statements, a set of shared values, and ideas on how to transform the words on paper into a lived experience.

We can’t wait to regroup later this year to hear how a group of teachers already infused with a shared sense of passion and possibility turned their energy up a notch to strengthen Tuckahoe’s world-changing community of learners.