What’s Your Why?

0e4139069_1428003429_why-1-1 (image retrieved from onelifechurch.org)

After viewing Dr. John Kotter’s videos, Heart of Change and Leading Change: Establish a Sense of Urgency, I have realized that it will be important to appeal to the hearts of the stakeholders within my district when implementing and sharing my ePortfolio initiative. To do so, it is necessary that I identify the purpose (why), the process (how), and the end result (what).


Why (purpose): I believe that developing reflective learners will promote the habits for lifelong learning.

How (process): To do this, I will mentor students as they reflect and collaborate with their peers on their post-secondary research and plans, what they are learning, and why they are interested in pursuing their goals.

What (result): The students create their ePortfolios where they can share and explore their interests and create content that reflects their individuality.


The “why”, “how”, and “what” statements can be used to speak to the hearts of stakeholders within my district because it addresses each student’s individuality and also focuses on promoting lifelong learning. My why statement addresses developing each student into a reflective learner so that they can continuously evaluate themselves, their learning, and their futures. The ePortfolios are to guide students to understand why they are learning and to help them understand the value in reflection. The ePortfolios focus directly on the students and encourages them to take control of their learning. Reflecting, collaborating, and taking chances prior to their graduation will assist them in having successful futures. At the heart of each teacher, parent, and school administrator is the desire for their students to be lifelong learners. Developing learning styles and habits will help to promote lifelong learning and intrinsic motivation.

My why statement focuses on individual learning instead of on test scores. In Pennsylvania, the Keystone Exams have become a graduation requirement. Many stakeholders believe that overemphasis on high-stakes testing leads to “teaching to the test.” This kills learning and any chance for students to develop a love of learning. My why statement should create a sense of urgency from stakeholders to move away from a focus on test scores and move towards a focus on developing reflective student learning and habits so students become lifelong learners. This focus on lifelong learning means that students will continue to learn after their graduation – at colleges, technical schools, in the military, in the workforce. The emphasis becomes less on ensuring students are learning the exact same information in the exact same way, and more on ensuring whatever strengths and interests they have are highlighted, celebrated, and serve as a source of desire to continue to learn throughout the rest of their lives.



Kotter, J. [Dr. John Kotter]. (2011, March 23). John Kotter – the heart of change [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/1NKti9MyAAw

Kotter, J. [Dr. John Kotter]. (2013, August 15). Leading change: establish a sense of urgency [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/2Yfrj2Y9IlI 

[Photograph of Why?] (2015). Retrieved from https://onelifechurch.org/2015/01/why-mission-teams/