Saturday, June 09, 2007
A simple but effective vision
One school I have worked with has used their name (resting canoe in Maori) and three Norfolk Pine trees ( both contribute to their logo and school uniform emblem) to develop into a vision, values, and teaching beliefs that underpin all the decisions and choices the school makes.
The three trees have been 're-invented' to stand for their values : respect, responsibility and reflection - their 'three Rs'.
To add 'learning power' to the 'resting canoe' the school has developed six paddles to represent their teaching beliefs. These paddles are not only used for teachers to base their teaching on but they are also used as the basis of the school teacher appraisal system and for teacher self reference.
The six paddles are:
1 Foundation Skills in place.
2 Students as powerful learners
3 To present challenging learning experiences to our students.
4 Expecting only our students personal best ( the school vision as well)
5 We see teachers as learning coaches.
6 Focused and celebratory room environments.
Each paddle is defined by more specific agreed actions to be taken to achieve it.
(Every school will have their own priorities to define their teaching points.)
The principal uses the 'model' to discuss the school with visitors and new parents and teachers ensure that all students are aware of the story behind their logo and uniform emblem. The students, after six years, leave with them as part of their learning.
The simple vision, values and teaching beliefs create a 'common language' for all to use at the school.
For those who are interested there is a school vision on our website that you might consider modifying for your school. You would just have to pick your own metaphor to create your own 'story' around.