Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Importance of Schoolwide Systems and Routines

The start of every school year renews my belief in the importance of schoolwide systems and routines.  Similar to effective classrooms, an effective school relies on clear schoolwide structures that promote consistent and timely attendance, a strong focus on learning and positive behavioral systems.  Clear schoolwide systems also allow the school to respond proactively and supportively to a variety of needs.  

The beginning of each year offers a new opportunity to examine routine schoolwide practices for all stakeholders - students, faculty, parents and visitors to the school. When reflecting on these questions, consider all stakeholders involved in your school.
  • How does the school support consistent and timely attendance?
  • How does the school provide proactive, consistent and constructive forms of communication?
  • How does the school promote a positive and safe learning atmosphere?
  • How does the school promote a strong focus on learning?
The school culture relies on these interdependent components. This fall is an excellent time to reflect on schoolwide systems, and ensure they add value to the learning environment for students and all stakeholders.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Vulnerability Can Lead to Strength and Innovation

From time to time, I return to one of my most favorite Ted Talks: Brene Brown - TED Talk on Vulnerability for an important leadership lesson on vulnerability.  While it seems counter intuitive for leaders to embrace and practice vulnerability, we essentially know it is requisite for any successful endeavor.  I believe new ideas and risk-taking are predicated on vulnerability, and the leader must model going on out a limb before others take a leap of faith.
When I think about any successful creative venture, I can easily recall the risk that was its foundation.  I have a goal to view and practice vulnerability as the starting point to courage and strength, so I can model, support and grow a culture of innovation.