The Strategy of Hope: A Professional Learning Series

I’ve heard it a lot and I bet you have too.

“Hope is not a strategy.”

I understand where the statement comes from. It’s a call to action, often to school leaders, that inaction isn’t likely to lead to successful outcomes. You can’t argue effectively with that! It’s a reminder that you can’t just wish for success; you have to work for it. That you need a plan and that “everything is going to work out” isn’t as effective as, “so. let’s examine the situation and develop a strategy to make things happen.” Look, I’m on board with all of that; some of the most important work school leaders do is in planning.

Planning is essential for organizational and individual success, but maybe let’s separate the idea of ‘hope’ from inaction. Hope is much more than a wish. I don’t think you get to devalue ‘hope’ and then praise ‘mindset‘, because hope IS mindset. I don’t think you get to make ‘hope’ seem powerless and then praise PBIS, because behavioral interventions are based on principles of motivation. Motivation (as defined by the Motivation Research Institute at James Madison University) is “M=E*V-C.” Motivation equals expectancy times value, minus cost. You can have all of the incentives that you could imagine (value) but if hope (expectancy) is gone, zero times infinity is still zero. So, hope may not in of itself be a strategy, but good luck having a strategy devoid of it! Mindset and motivation are essential for any strategy to be fulfilled, so let’s tip our hats to hope, the thread that makes strategies work!

It’s from that posture… an appreciation of HOPE … that we are proud to present to you a professional learning series designed to explore hope’s role in your work as an educator. This series features a team who have been dedicated to hope throughout our lives and careers. Joe Hendershott, Dardi Hendershott, Stephen Peters, and myself. Here are the details of The Strategy of Hope. We hope you’ll join us — THREE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE OPENING SESSION IN APRIL, a Saturday Seminar in May (May 15), and a Summer Workshop in June. (June 14/15).

Ignite your plans by engaging the strategy of hope!

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