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HAPPILY BACK TO SCHOOL

- 01 May 2015
Posted by: Kendall Hogg

A change really can be as good as a holiday.

 

Uprooting a family and dragging them more than a thousand kilometres across the country can be a huge stress on everyone, particularly when two of the children are facing critical years in their education.

What a relief when we found what seemed to be a very good school. It’s an even bigger relief when, one term on, those first impressions are proving well-founded. The children are settling into their new school and making new friends and new connections, and the school is living up to the values and caring culture it promised – for the students, the staff, the parents and the community.

Everything did not fall into place instantly, but the school was attentive and helped to smooth out the bumps.

The good impressions start at the top with a headmaster who can articulate his vision for the school community and inspire others. He has made a long-term investment in the culture of the school and the future of its pupils. He doesn’t just set the guidelines, he lives them. It is so much easier to influence others when you are a model for change; when you demonstrate the consistent level of commitment that is desired in others.

At an evening meet-and-greet with parents, he spelled out how he perceived his role as a steward for a healthy culture in the school and its outreach into the wider community. He and his staff aim to engage the whole person, not just the pupil or parental side of each. They brought “heart” to their task as well as their skills and competencies.

There was a buzz to the evening, but could it stand the test of time?

One honest conversation is refreshing, but it is a whole new ball game when these honest conversations – both ways – start to become the norm. It’s a new dynamic; you do become engaged and you start to explore the values you wish to see expressed in the shared culture.

The children are reacting positively too. What a delight when you realise your children are growing and learning and prospering in such an environment. It makes all the hard yakka and frustrations of being a parent so very worthwhile.

 

Organisations need a healthy culture. How are your caring values at work?

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