From Diversity, to Inclusion to Belonging

Throughout my career, I’ve been so fortunate to be asked to support a number of colleagues as they transition from classroom educator to vice principal or from vice principal to principal.  I love the opportunity to highlight their leadership skills and provide specific examples of how they have positively impacted their school cultures. The conversation easily flows from one question to the next with great details and examples until we get to the “diversity/inclusion” question.  Each time it is asked (and I always know when it’s coming) I pause as I find myself having to dig a bit deeper to provide concrete examples ~ mostly because the candidates that I’m supporting create diverse/inclusive cultures as a matter of their everyday interactions with their staff, students and broader school community. For me, it is more of a mindset than an actionable objective.

So, today when I stumbled on this picture quote @lizandmollie, I was immediately drawn to the natural progression from diversity, to inclusion to belonging.  Being asked how a colleague creates a sense of belonging in a school community creates the conditions for authentic examples.  Ultimately, if we truly believe that all learners can learn and that everyone is a contributing member of a school community, then a sense of belonging has been created.

How do you create a sense of belonging in your school culture?  Is it something that you can easily articulate?

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