Sunday, November 10, 2013

Value added

What are the values and the principles of your school? Do you know them off by heart? Or do you have to look them up? I am pretty sure that if you ask any of the teachers at Hobsonville Point that they could tell you what the school's values and principles are. You might say values schmalues. They make little to no impact on the day to day business of teachers. Or do they?

The professional learning team have started working on the appraisal and professional learning programme of our new school. We started with an anonymous survey to get an idea of everyone's past experiences and possible suggestions. These suggestions, as well as the professional learning team's ideas for the appraisal and professional learning were all then tested against our school's values and principles. This, and just about everything else we at Hobsonville Point, is tested against our values and principles. What it means is that everyone is on board with the school's vision in their decision making. But also, that we all understand why we are there. 
The values are at the core of the circle, the principles are on the
 second circle and the practices are on the outside circle.
I am interested to know whether if I looked at an old classroom observation from a previous school and the practices that I had, whether they would support the values of that school directly? Even more so, I wonder if I wrote my own values for education in the centre of that circle, how often my practices do or do not match. The real question though, is whether the values you and I have for education, matches what the students actually need. 

So what values and principles do you have? Are the students' at the centre of your values? And are you living and breathing those values and principles through your practice?