Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pure and Simple

David Jakes always makes me think when it comes to redesigning schools (both the physical and the cultural). His latest post has me thinking again:
If you were asked to identify the most important elements of your school’s culture, what would they be? I’m talking about the things that make your school your school, the things you are most proud of. Take a minute and write down your top three.

. . . I’m wondering how you would describe the culture of the learning experiences that your students engage in? What are the expectations, the beliefs, the support for, the diversity of, the essence of how and why students learn?

Here's my school's mission statement:
Our mission is to create an engaging teaching-learning environment that values student individuality and encourages students to:
  • recognize and achieve their full potential,
  • collaborate in the learning process,
  • become lifelong learners, and
  • participate actively in their local and global societies.

Here's David's suggested mission statement:
The mission of this school is to create, sustain, and grow a culture of learning for all.
I think the second one is not only better, but also does a better job of directing the energy of both staff and students in the direction I think we need to go. Even though it's simpler, I think it gives a better lens for both staff and students to evaluate what they are currently doing, and what perhaps they should be doing.

Pure and simple.

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