Why-How-What Statements

We are just coming back from two weeks off of break! I hope that you all took the time to do what you needed to do whether that was traveling, catching up with friends, or doing whatever you wanted to do at that moment! Over these two weeks, I did a bit of reading and found one particular idea very inspiring – the idea of developing a personal why-how-what statement. The book, Be Excellent on Purpose, by Sanée Bell, talked about having more than a job title and being able to articulate more than what you do in a day through this why-how-what statement…


Within the first 25 pages of the book, Bell gives the following #LeadForward strategy:

  1. Start within and reflect on why you do what you do
  2. Identify your how
  3. Ensure that your what reflects your why

Bell’s Why-How-What Statement Example: I help students and educators unleash their inner power so that they can create a life where they feel successful, inspired, and fulfilled. I do this by working every day to create an environment of acceptance, respect, and recognition. Being a Teacher Leader is how I live my why daily.                From Be Excellent on Purpose

These ideas gave me a lot to think about as we start a new quarter. We are all educators in one form or another, yet our how and our why vary drastically and that is part of what gives our students the opportunities that they have here at Feaster Charter. For example, if our #FeasterMindlabs classes all had the same why and how statements, students would be missing out on amazing specialties like engineering, dance, art, music, technology, PE and all of the unique learning opportunities that come with those programs. The why and the how is our opportunity to apply the strengths, interests, and values of our students while meeting the needs of each individual.

So, as we start off this new quarter, how powerful would it be to have your own why-how-what statement to reflect on? As you think, consider using the language frame from Bell:

I (why statement). I do this by (how statement). Being a (what statement) is how I live my why daily.


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