Ensure a common understanding of expectations and definitions

Question: What helps your staff pursue excellence?
 
Answer: A common understanding of expectations and definitions. When staff have a common understanding, they work more effectively. One way you can work to ensure a common understanding is to have your staff discuss expectations and definitions found in key organizational documents, including the mission, vision, values, philosophy, and job descriptions.
 
Here’s what happened at this morning’s high school staff meeting at Christian Academy in Japan, where Anda Foxwell, high school principal, focused her staff on 1 expectation (teacher involvement in professional development) and 1 definition (learning):

1 expectation:
Anda reviewed a statement from the school’s philosophy regarding professional development: “Teachers avail themselves of resources and training opportunities for ongoing professional growth.” To flesh out the meaning of the statement, Anda reviewed the school’s professional development plan and had teachers talk in small groups to review progress on their professional development goals.

1 definition: Next, Anda reviewed a statement from the school’s philosophy regarding student learning: “Learning occurs as students are equipped with knowledge, skills, and attitudes so they can love and serve God and others.” To reinforce this statement, Anda linked it to the role reading plays in students getting knowledge, skills, and attitudes, and how teaching reading strategies can help students learn more effectively.

Ensure a common understanding of expectations and definitions. Pursue excellence. Today.