I’ll never forget the student who was telling me about how he was being mercilessly bullied, whose eye was suddenly caught by poster on the wall proclaiming that his school was a safe and caring place. “What a joke,” he commented.
It’s not enough to declare our beliefs; the hard work is in living them every day.
Having said that, it’s also important that we are clear and concrete about what we believe in. I’ve seen some schools that do an excellent job of talking to students in the first week of school about what kind of a school we want to have, never to broach the subject again.
If we are going to create an environment where people think about their beliefs and are guided by them in their behaviour every day, it is important that we have constant reminders around us, and engage in ongoing discussions.
What’s up on the wall isn’t enough on its own; but it can certainly be a touchstone for us.
These pictures were shared with me by a teacher from Niverville Collegiate. She was incredibly passionate as she explained to me the work that their school had done to develop these beliefs, and how they are displaying them in every possible place to serve as constant reminders about what is important. I could tell from her energy that these ideas are much more than words on the wall!
In places where there isn’t room to list each of their beliefs, like the welcome mat at the door, they use the “NCI CARES” logo.
And then there’s the version with key words:
How do you bring your school beliefs to the forefront every day? Please share your ideas in the comments below, or email me ideas or pictures and I’ll post how your school is keeping Restitution alive!