The most common challenge for schools is how to transition from a culture of compliance to a culture of commitment. How to move from “doing” to “becoming”; from “my kids” to “our kids.” The gap between these two junctures is a critical and often-overlooked aspect of a school’s journey, creating a culture of collective responsibility. If educators are prepared to commit to every child, every day, two questions must be addressed:
1. Do we believe all students can learn at high levels?
2. Will we take collective responsibility to make this a reality?
If we truly aim to have a culture that embraces “learning for ALL,” we must begin with building effective relationships with all constituents of a school community as we carefully craft our collective commitment and purpose. As Viviane Robinson (2011) states, “Effective educational leadership is not about getting the relationships right and then tackling the difficult work challenges. It is about doing both simultaneously so that relationships are strengthened through doing the hard, collective work of improving teaching and learning” (page 16).
Building our collective commitment starts with the “why,” and underpinning this critical step is the reason educators entered the profession—to make a difference and improve the life chances of every student. Connecting the overarching mission with the behaviors, decisions, feedback, and actions of all staff members requires meaningful, collaborative conversations. To this end, participants will acquire powerful tools, processes, and questions that lead to a deeper understanding of the moral imperative for the work.
- Acquire the authentic alignment model and its four stages
- Gain strategies to create maximum buy-in among members of your school community
- Embrace the idea of defining your WHY
- Establish what is needed for a collective commitment
- Align policy, procedure, and practice with purpose
- Discuss the notion of “easy” versus “hard” work and the impact of those decisions
- Identify tools, resources, and structures to make achievement for all a reality
- Plan next steps in your school’s journey
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“The motivation and energy the presenter had was contagious! He shared so many ideas that were awesome for getting staff and students excited about learning.”
Kimm Mack, teacher, Killian Elementary School, South Carolina