So, imagine a school of your dreams with the best staff, students learning and growing in front of you, perfect administration and successful batches of alumni, the best of facilities, latest equipment and technologies and updated labs.
Now, let’s have a look what are we dealing in teachers struggling with technology, students unaware of right use of the technology, different opinions, clashes and still working.
Well not all, but a lot of education leaders running schools do face all such problems with constant efforts to try to make thing work out.
Schools succeed when all —administrators and teachers—are working in step towards a common goal. One of the best ways to make this happen is by creating a vision statement. Most institutions have one and while you can certainly use these to get you started, we wanted to share a collaborative activity to help you develop your own.
To begin with, as you and your faculty consider your vision statement, reflect on the following questions:
- Who are we serving?
- What are the characteristics of our students and their families?
- What changes have we made in the past and what changes are we planning for the future?
- What expectations do we have for our students? Each other?
- What are our dreams and aspirations for our students?
- What are our aspirations for the school?
- What kind of school do we want for our children?
- What will our students learn and how will they learn it?
- What distinguishes us from other schools?
- How will we measure or demonstrate these distinctions?
- If parents have a choice as to where they will send their child, why would they choose our school?
After a detailed discussion about the above questions, ask all the members to be prepared to jot down their perspective on the following questions:
1. Ask your staff to reflect on the place they envisions their child going to school. What would it look like? How would the child be treated? What would their experiences be like? Now have your faculty write their reflections on the same to get a sense of expectations of parents.
2. Now ask the staff to think about a work environment they would like to go to every day. What would it look like? What would their experiences be like? Now have your staff write their answers on this to learn about the expectation of the driving force of your institution.
3. Now ask your staff to look over the two Post-it notes and do their best to consolidate them into one. When they are ready, have them write their thoughts on an index card.
4. Divide your staff into groups of four or five and assign one member as the group secretary. Each member should share their statements with the group. Once each member has shared their statement, the group must collaborate to create a unified statement. The group secretary is responsible for writing this down. Once each group is satisfied with its vision statement, they will have to present it to the complete staff and come out with their expectations and visions, what they think and expect, their viewpoints. This will help you get a better viewpoint on the same.
5. Now that all of your groups have presented their vision statements, it’s time to come back together as one group and repeat the process. Here, all of you coming together for one common goal i.e. the betterment of the institute, to create a school vision so that you can help each other to take the institution on a road forward.
A school vision a vital part in the existence of the organization, in this case school. What is important is that the authority on the top should not be just the one thinki8ng it out and making people work on it. It is important to know the perspective, expectation and thoughts of other people working in the institute to have a success stand with harmonious and healthy environment in the organization.
The following points are a must check for all the school leaders to make sure that the school vision they hold is what everyone is working towards:
1. The vision must be shared by all members. You will not reach your ultimate goals if the vision is simply dictated down to your teachers. The vision must have the input of all members to be effective.
2. The vision must become the standard by which decisions are made. If it truly is your vision, then nothing that does not line up with your vision in your school must occur unless it is driving your school towards your vision.
3. The vision has to be revisited often. It is important that your vision for your school is revisited on a regular basis to make sure it is still relevant, effective, and shared by all. This I believe is the most important as we are striving in an ever changing environment. It is important to keep the things aligned to the need of time and not dance to your own tune.
Also, the school vision has to be shared with all the shareholders including parents, students and teachers on a regular basis. For teachers, professional development must fall under some portion of the vision. After all is been said and done, the most important thing of all is to keep worki8ng towards your school vision and keep believing in it. Printing it on paper and putting it across the table to all the stakeholders is done by all but in order to succeed, grow and blossom, one needs to be consistent and deliberate towards achieving it.
Share your thoughts in the comment section below.