Thursday, February 4th is National Homemade Soup Day. To celebrate, three members of the #mdeschat PLN shared what “ingredients” make a school great. They offer the following food for thought, which is best digested with a nice bowl of homemade soup, you decide what kind!
“I’d say the three most important ingredients that will determine if a school is great are people, relationships, and mindset. A great school doesn’t ever reach “greatness.” The stakeholders have a growth mindset and are always looking for ways to improve and adjust their contributions to improve the school. The journey to greatness is never complete. You need people who are working to improve themselves, each other, and to teach the students a growth mindset. This includes all stakeholders, not just school staff. The relationships between people is what will facilitate the school stakeholders in being able to learn and grow from each other. Basically, a great school is one that is better tomorrow than it was today.” –Michael Donnelly, @mrdonnelly3, 6th GradeTeacher, Monarch Global Academy
“I think there are a lot of components that make a school great, but the number one “ingredient” is the ability to take feedback in all aspects and create change. Feedback from students, parents and teachers. Teachers accepting feedback from administration, parents and students. Administrators taking feedback from students, parents and teachers and making changes. Accepting feedback to make positive changes leads to a positive school culture where everyone feels like they have a voice in their child’s education which ultimately leads to student success.”-Ginger Henley, @miss_gingerann, Principal, Crofton Elementary
“Ingredients needed to make a school great: a great leader, fearless teachers, support, and creative freedom. I think that a great leader is someone with a clear vision and the ability to both support and push staff members towards, not only that vision, but also reaching their full creative and professional potentials. To make a school great, teachers need to be fearless. They need to be willing to try new things (and possibly fail), take risks, and push themselves out of their comfort zones. Teachers will only be able to do this with a leader who will stand up for his/her teachers when necessary, otherwise there is so much extra “stuff” that will hold a school back from being exceptional. There needs to be out-of-the-box thinking, learning, and teaching happening to make a school great, and there needs to be a certain level of creative freedom in order for that to occur.” -Bonita Bradway, @boncheri86, 4th Grade Teacher, Tyler Heights Elementary
Wow, great advice from three exceptional educators! Thanks to Mike, Ginger, and Bonita for sharing their “recipes” for school success. Do you have any advice or thoughts on what successful schools do, or should do? Add your ideas in the comment section below to keep the conversation going!