Mission versus Ethos – this time it’s personal!

Many schools have Mission Statements of either a formal or an informal nature.  Greg Jarvis was a truly great Principal I knew whose informal Mission Statement for his school was “The home of happy children” and the wonderful part was that this Mission Statement, regularly and cheerily espoused, rubbed off on everyone who came into contact with Greg.

I picked up on this when I became a Principal and began shouting from the rooftops that my school was “The Friendliest School in the NT”.  And this was largely true … unless you rang the front office and asked for me!  Paradoxically, so supportive was my Admin Staff that they weren’t about to allow me to be distracted by minor details like program sales, canteen queries and camp arrangements.  It was nice of them, but when folk rang and asked for me and were greeted gruffly with “What’s this in regard to?  He’s a very busy man you know.” … well, it hardly lived out my friendliness mantra.

Of course, I now have a problem.  Do I confront this behaviour with a lovely, supportive Admin Team?  Put simply – I must!  School Culture can be well defined as the set of behaviours that are ENCOURAGED and TOLERATED – and I was determined that my culture would match my mission.

In the end, you see, it’s the smaller behavioural things that comprise our Ethos that really matter.  The etymology of the Greek word Ethos is “everything we do and everything we say” and it’s this that will drive your Culture – not your Mission.  Mission Statements are valuable in that they are aspirational and clearly articulate what we value.  But without Ethos backing it up, the way Greg Jarvis back up his Mission, then the Mission stands pointless.

How exactly then, are you working on Ethos in your school this week?  What are you Encouraging … and perhaps what are you Tolerating?

The Practice Shift – The art of supporting, growing and enabling Teachers

We’re running a FREE webinar on Thursday, 19th of March at 3.30pm (AEDT).

Many School Leaders were promoted into their leadership roles for a simple reason – they were incredible Teachers! They worked hard to refine their craft, to prove their effectiveness and also to work as a shining light in their teams.

However, the skill set for being a great Teacher is vastly different to that of enabling other Teachers. As our Leaders step outside of the classroom and into the PLC Meeting Room, we need a whole new skill set – that of inspiring, training, developing and challenging the Teachers trusted into our teams.

It’s a huge job!

So what do the most effective School Leaders know?
What does it take to inspire today’s Teachers?
How should we approach our ‘Gen Y’ staff?
What are the highest impact tips and tricks for conducting a productive performance conversation (without tears or slamming doors!)

In this practical, engaging and important webinar (ok – it might even be a little humourous too!), you’ll discover all of this an more.

This webinar is targeted at current and aspirational School Leaders of all ages in all school settings.