Vision without action is a daydream
Action without vision is a nightmare.
– Japanese proverb
All effective organisations not only have a vision statement, they actually use it to drive everything in their organisations. Vision statements are advantageous (if not crucial) to schools because they help drive the decision making and keeps the school focused. In short vision statements:
- help motivate and keep staff focused on the goals of the school,
- define the purpose and directions of the school,
- allow a foundation for publicising the school, and
- helps to differentiate the school from other educational organisations.
As schools break for the winter (or summer) it is an opportune time for school leaders to take stock of where they are at in working towards achieving their school’s vision. One strategy is to measure the relevance of your vision statement by reflecting on the following questions:
- What strategies have been used to intentionally build a shared vision in your school? Can you draw lines between the strategies to the components of your school’s vision?
- What actions have you taken as leaders to model the vision?
- What strategies haven’t you used to move your stakeholders closer to owning the vision?
- How have you, as leader, demonstrated a true commitment to change?
Reflecting on these questions guides leaders to ensure the vision is at the forefront of their daily tasks. To take stock of where the school is at the school leader can undertake:
- Surveys: Climate surveys are useful in understanding how parents, teachers, students connect with the vision and if there is alignment across the school
- Decision Making: Leaders need to be able to articulate the connect between decision making and the vision. No alignment means no growth towards the schools goals.
- Meeting Agendas: An easy measure is to peruse the elements planned for each meeting held. Regardless of the groups focus
- Teacher Personal/Professional Goals: Are teachers’ goals in line with the school vision. As teachers work on their own professional learning, ensuring it connects to the school’s vision will benefit the school.
- Signage: Having the school’s vision in plain sight of the community makes an easy reference point for the community as they wander the school.
Remember…..“Every choice you make leads you away from your vision or moves you toward it.” – Patti Digh