Trust. Several administrators we spoke with at a recent conference for international schools spoken with frustration about the lack of trust they experience from parents of students and even teachers. To a person, each expressed wistful longing for the good old days when high trust was more of a phenomenon at schools. While this conference was in Southeast Asia, we hear similar things from every region in which we work, including private, independent schools in the USA.
The Bad Batch podcast by Wondery (available on Apple podcasts and other sites) about problems in the stem cell industry illustrates why low trust is so and why school leaders should be neither surprised by the present nor wistful for the past. Rather, we need to recognize that parents and teachers have good reason not to trust, given examples like Bad Batch, and become more transparent about how what we do at school prepares students for their futures. “Just trust us,” isn’t enough anymore.