Along with other “big words” like Respect, Responsibility, Empathy and Excellencethat are often hijacked as meaningless values in our schools, Trust is a concept that we find to be equally aspirational and elusive.
As with our values, the answer to this conundrum is often that Trust hasn’t been collectively defined. We simply don’t yet know what is meant, in simple behavioural terms, by these big words that have been selected to cover off on as many potentially concerning behaviours as possible. Of course, they don’t cover off very well, resulting in many schools with the value of Respect being no more Respectful in their work than the school down the road who opted for Endeavour as a value.
Trust has to mean something and we must know explicitly how we get it, build it and sustain it. Defined well as a comfortable predictability in behavioural choices in a variety of circumstances, trust therefore must be built by recognising and rewarding a small number of behaviours we truly love to see.
In a nutshell, Trust is about thanking and rewarding people for doing good. As School Leaders then, our job is to create a culture where our staff are recognised for achievement at all levels. As Teachers, we need to structure a classroom where success is possible, or even better likely, and then celebrated.
When authority figures in cultures recognise even minor behavioural shifts and celebrate improvements in process (even when the outcome might not yet be there) the safety of predictability they provide encourages risk and repeated deployment of desirable acts.
Maybe Billy Joel was onto something when he sang “It’s always been a matter of Trust”. I’m showing my age now – I do TRUST you won’t tell anyone!
Free WEBINAR – Switch Off!
I’m delighted to announce that we have a Guest Presenter for our April Webinar – Angela Lockwood. How can I put this? … Ange is awesome!
Drawing upon a long career working with children, individuals, schools and organisations, Angela knows how to integrate the skills of slowing down into the fast-paced and pressured lives of educators.
- Recognise when it’s time to switch off and how to take immediate action.
- Understand your behaviours and triggers to prevent a melt-down.
- Build habits that help you flick the switch between focus, productivity and rest so you can have the energy to take you through the year.
Whether you’re needing time to contemplate big decisions, feeling burnt out in need of a holiday, or just needing some time to clear space in your life, this webinar will introduce you to a practical framework to help you slow down and take control.
This Real Schools Webinar is aimed at Teachers, School Leaders and Administrators of all phases of learning.