TOP TIP – Do you and your team know your school values?

School values are more than something that is written in the school Business Plan. They form an essential component to how your school functions. All schools live by values, the values being lived and breathed in your school may or may not reflect the values written in your Business Plan, we call this “written and unwritten ground rules”.

The written ground rules are the school policies, the documents, what we tell people we expect and the rules we live by. The unwritten ground rules are what actually happens. The wider the gap between the written and unwritten ground rules, the more discomfort you and your team will experience.

The first thing you can do is an assessment of how your school is tracking. Consider your school values, what would it look like, sound like and feel like if each value were truly being lived and breathed by everyone in the school? Does the school environment look, sound and feel like that?

Where you notice gaps, consider what can be done to support the team to live these values even more. Here are some tips on how this can be done:

  • Make the school values more clearly visible. In the hustle and bustle of the school day ‘out of sight’ can mean ‘out of mind’;
  • Acknowledge and reward people (students and staff) when they are demonstrating / living these values. This will help keep the values front of mind and will also show that you’re serious about encouraging them;
  • When people are not living the values gently support them to do so. This could be as simple as saying “I noticed you were not (insert value here), is there a reason why or is there something I can do to support you to (insert value here) in the future?”
  • Be the example. Your team will notice what you do more than what you say. As leaders we must be willing to walk our talk even on our off days.
  • Hold the standard, especially in the beginning. If the values have not been lived in a while, there will be people on your team who do not like change and who may not support your efforts. Change takes time, stay firm, stay strong, stay supportive and over time the team will follow your lead.

We support school leaders to unite their team around common vision, values and standards as well so to develop measurable targets to support the development of school culture to align with the school’s Business Plan. If you would like a free 45-minute consultation to see how we can support you and your school click the link below.

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