14 April 2014

Things in schools that should never change

I recently read a blog post by esteemed educator and leader, George Couros, whose work I follow who wrote about 3 Things That Should Never Change In Schools.  George says these three things are
  1. The focus on relationships
  2. Opportunities outside the classroom
  3. Learning in an respectful manner
and it caused me to reflect on all the change Principals and teachers are continually expected to bring about in schools. Every meeting with the 'powers that be' and every email from the 'powers that be' brings another change (dressed up as a new initiative or a 'ground breaking' program or a new direction for the Department), but it is a change none the less. And in all of this change, it's what stays the same that makes the difference to kids.

In our school a focus on relationships looks and sounds like happy smiling kids, happy smiling teachers (and other staff too, of course), lessons with buddy class once a week, new students being given 'the tour', explicit teaching about manners and expected standards of behaviour, and staff who spend their break times counselling children in need of assistance.

Opportunities 'beyond the classroom' include lunch clubs (there are loads of them), Visual Art lessons, charity work, student leadership, Reader's Cup, excursions, camps, carnivals, games, laying around on a cushion in the Resource Centre reading, Assembly performances, and musical and dramatic opportunities.

And learning in a respectful manner is a cornerstone in our school.

At the end of the day the changes count for nothing unless these things stay the same!

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