Integrating Your Foundational Documents into the Daily Life of Your School
Having some great-looking foundational documents that have been created collaboratively with your school community is one thing… bringing them to life in the day to day business of the school is quite another. But this is a critical step if the documents are going to promote growth in your school. Here are three ideas that could help in this process…
Any member of the school community, but the leaders in particular, can promote the ideas and ideals contained in the foundational documents by modelling them. Draw attention to those who are exemplifying them. Talk about them. Often. Make integrating your foundational documents into the life of the school a shared responsibility.
Make them visible.
The parts of your foundational documents that are short and memorable can be on display for all to see, in hallways and other public places, so that everyone is constantly reminded of them. Get creative and include members of your school community in doing this.
Another area where your foundational documents need to be visible is in the curriculum. Ask teachers to document specific connections to them in their unit or lesson plans. Integrating your foundational documents into the life of the school needs to be intentional.
Reflect on them.
Take some time in various settings (staff meetings, classroom, chapel services, parent meetings) to reflect on your foundational documents. Review the key ideas and ideals, and ask “how are we doing?” “how can we do better?” Reflection will help you and your community to embody them and make them more visible.
Another, perhaps bold, step is to invite some people from outside of your school community to reflect with you. A trusted “outsider” from the wider Christian school community may have insights or expose blind spots that can help you to grow. In turn, they will be learning things from your school that will inspire their school to grow also. Win-Win!
How have you sought to integrate your foundational documents into the daily life of your school? Share your thoughts, experiences or questions in the comments below so that we can all learn from each other.