Part 2 of this blog is what I believe is so important in education. It is not supposed to be a system or blueprint for how every school should operate but highlight what is important at the heart of your organisation.
There are a few important things that need to be understood before any school or organisation can flourish.
– What is your ethos? At the most basic level what is the reason you are doing what you are doing?
– What are you trying to achieve?
– How are you going about this?
– You are a community. Therefore a shared vision that everyone is living by can create amazing things.
– Are you creating from a state of fear or growth (love)?
I believe that from establishing and understanding these ideas anything is possible. You become in control of your destiny and have the ability to morph and adapt to any new educational legislation with a clear vision.
Here would be be my responses:
My ethos would be
‘I am present everyday, I am joyful and in being so I support myself to be truly authentic’
What am I trying to achieve?
‘My ethos, and therefore I am able to help others wanting to do the same’
How am going about this?
I create a structure that allows me to spend my day supporting myself to live by my ethos.
Who is in my community and how can we support each other?
Govenors, Management, Teaching Staff, Support Staff, Administration, Volunteers, Caterers, Cleaning Staff, Maintenance, Pupils, Parents, Careers, Wider Community (there may be others in relation to your organisation too).
Do you know what is important to these people? Have you ever asked them? What skills do they have that could support your organisation/school? Can you think outside the traditional box?
Where is my decision coming from?
Growth or fear. If it is fear what are you afraid of? Notice it, voice it and think again.
I know this doesn’t sound like any school you may have come across but I have one question. How is education working out for everyone involved at the moment?
So having aired my frustration in Part 1 lets see how things might look using my responses above.
Lets take my daughters reading. World Book Day is a great ‘wow’ day to help inspire children to read. Having captured her imagination today and found books that she is enjoying, how can we achieve this again tomorrow? Let’s give her time to continue to be drawn in and explore the book. She would love that. Could we create a space with freedom both physically and in time that would enhance this. Could it be outside? The library? Part of her classroom, a different classroom or outside of school? The school needs to monitor progress so if the teacher needs support or more time who else could help? Would it it be possible for my daughter to read both on her own but also to an older pupil or pupil of similar ability? Could we invite older members of the community maybe retired people to hear people read. There is evidence of great benefits from a school sending pupils to a residential home with this purpose. There were amazing life enhancing benefits to both parties (maybe this could be another blog?!)
If the book really captures the mind is it possible to watch a film that may have been made of it. Could you use it as a starting point for drama, put it into historical context or ask others if they have read it so they can talk about it together. Can our organisational structure do this? If not is it a good idea and can we make it happen?
Can we support any pupil to enquire further into what they are learning today if they are inspired to do so?
What does a school that can do this look like?
These are some quotes from Albert Einstein
– Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
– The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
– We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. – A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. – It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. – To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science. – There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.
How do these remarks by such a great mind fit into your current view of education?
Here are some questions I would like to ask:
How do you create the atmosphere of safety that allows pupils to experiment with the freedom of learning from not always getting the RIGHT answer?
With society facing problems with obesity and children wanting to be more active why not do sports or exercise everyday? Start each school day dancing or have a selection of sporting options? I am pretty sure pupils would be more ready to learn something after that.
If as a school you don’t know what you are trying to achieve how can you get everyone working together.
If a school is creating a culture of happiness with a wide range of subjects designed to inspire every child would Ofsted really think the school was not good?
The most important day is today, now, this present moment. You wait and can’t start doing it differently when there is …………..a new government, new curriculum, better building, new Head Teacher, more time………………………..
Why is this so important?
There are often 2 points in your life when you stop and know why.
-The day your child is born and you feel all the wonders of the world.
-The day someone dies and you think about what is important. What really matters. If you can remember these thoughts and feelings in between these 2 days then you can start living life fully.
If you want proof then think back to when your child was first born. In their early days and weeks did you give them everything they needed because you trusted that they knew best. If they cried you would feed them, change them, cuddle them or create a safe place for them to sleep. When did you stop listening to that natural instinct of knowing.
If you have spent time with anyone dying what did they say to you? Not I wish I had done more paperwork, done as I was told, earned more money etc etc. Often it is the things that brought them joy and happiness. Time with family, our wonderful surrounding, playing with our friends, being present enough to enjoy every moment now not worrying about the future.
Only when you stop and listen to yourself can you hear and feel what is needed now. Enjoy now and our children will help us school themselves and create a world that can transform into something beyond our wildest dreams. The great thing about it is that we all get to enjoy the ride together.
With a strong ethos any organisation or school can be individually inspiring and lead the way whilst doing what is required by the establishment. It is this leadership that will show us the way to change and create the future we all desire one day at a time.
What is it that you desire and are you living it?