In my EDL 610 course, which is Visionary Leadership, we are working on building and assessing school culture. This is meant to be a reflection on the idea of a welcoming school culture and include responses to a series of guided prompts. Those prompts are:
Schools play a large role in building students' agency and identity. Afterall, a scholar spends a majority of their day in school, with their peers and school staff. A school then becomes a place which models the ability to create agency and identity in a safe environment.
I am fully aware of this awesome responsibility that is placed on a school and its staff. In this age of technology, texting, social media, I continue to remind staff that we must model the behavior we hope to see in our scholars. If we LOL in an eMail, we are saying and showing that is OK. (And to me, it is not. An eMail is not a text nor a tweet, and we can use full and complete sentences.) If we expect quick turn-around in communication with our scholars, we too then need to respond in an appropriate timeframe. We are the model.
I am lucky to be a school leader. As noted above, I believe in modeling the behavior I hope and expect to see. If I expect a response within 24-hours, I too will give responses within that timeframe. If I expect staff to use their phone, eMail and other forms of communication, I too will be, and have been, using said forms. Model the way.
I do not wish to continue to 'punt' to this notion, though I will. Model the behaviors, the responses, so others can learn the way. I am a firm believer in sharing the 'why' on decisions. Translate that to assignments. Share the 'why' for the "B" and how the "A" may have been earned.
The biggest commitment is on continuing to be seen as a role model and a model. I do not think it fair to expect something from someone if they cannot expect the same out of me. We have to practice what we preach, live our mission, vision and core values. Otherwise, we will be seen as fakes and phonys, with zero influece. And if we cannot provide a positive influence, what then are we providing?