I was privileged to hear Stuart Lancaster speak @pixlclub main meeting a couple of weeks ago. Inspiring and full of passion and commitment, he spoke of how he went about changing the culture within the England rugby camp following his appointment as Head Coach. How he created with players a sense of what it meant for them to put on the rose emblazoned shirt and step on to the pitch to represent their country. He made me reflect on how absolutely vital a shared vision is for any successful team.
“We have high expectations. We work together. We provide a values based education. We go the extra mile for every student. Above all else, we are a place of learning.”
In a nutshell, the core principles of the school in which I teach and help to lead. They are based on the collective beliefs and values of every single member of our staff – teaching and non-teaching – brought together over Term 6 last year. They are something which, for me, epitomise what every school should know and understand; the answer to the question Stuart Lancaster asked his players and that we should all ask ourselves – “what do you stand for?”
Shared vision and a collective ideology should be the basis of everything we do as team in a school. A fundamental understanding of why we arrive there every day and why our students often occupy more than their fair share of our waking thoughts brings meaning to our work and reaffirms our vocation.
A shared goal gives meaning to the endless hours spent planning and marking, to the great lengths we go to supporting students who are struggling, who come into school because it is their haven, to the occasions where we look at the clock and wonder where the time has gone and to the sense of wonder on pay-day that we are remunerated for having such fun. We share ourselves without question because we care. We feel that we have something to fight for.
I am blessed to work with a group of staff who own our vision for our students. They created it, they believe in it, they breathe it. For them, superlatives fail me. Awesome is probably the best fit. We know what we stand for. Do you?