I love great mentors! Recently one of my favorites, Janet Morey, retired. Like most talented educators, she was immediately sought out to teach aspiring administrators and serve as an ACSA advocate.  I was excited to receive a call from her to see how this new stage of her life was emerging. She surprised me by asking if I would be a guest speaker in one of her classes. I was immediately honored that she would think of me, and then completely humbled when she told me the topic. As the principal, how do I develop a shared vision for the school? Yikes! 

Hello?!?!  This is Standard 1 of the CPSEL's, so obviously it is a highly important topic, but how do I articulate this when vision setting is embedded in all I do. How can I be more purposeful in my practices? And this is the key question: have I been clear enough so that my teachers can articulate our vision?

My guess would be that teachers could give me our key words: Equip, Enrich, Empower. They might even go a step further to say that last year our vision was to "Equip, Enrich, Empower through personalized learning." Our focus was on expanding our 1:1 iPad program, refining our RtI model, and teaching Essential Standards to mastery for each student. This year, we began the year with, "Equip, Enrich, Empower: Going Global, a Passport to Success." This mission is two-fold. First, if we are going to be the best in the world, we as educators need to be connected to the best in the world through expanded Professional Learning Networks (PLN's). We are using Twitter as our vehicle to achieve this and sharing our successes at #bwbobcats. Second, in our fast-evolving world, students need to be empowered and connected to have a positive impact on their community and the world. We've collaborated on a list of activities and strategies to get started here: Going Global, A Passport to Success.

Here are some simple things I do to establish vision:

  • Use visuals throughout the school including the lounge
  • Reinforce classroom activities that exemplify our vision on social media
  • Open every staff meeting with a sharing out of positive things that contribute to our vision. Use the same slide every time to visually remind staff of our vision
  • Connect classroom walk-through feedback to school vision
  • Encourage teachers to tie their evaluation goals to school vision
  • Shelter new District initiatives under the umbrella of our vision. (RtI?...enrich, Essential Standards?...equip, 1:1 technology?...empower)
  • Ensure outside conferences are aligned to vision

I wonder...is my vision 20/20? Can teachers articulate our vision? I'm thinking I should ask them...