Saturday, October 15, 2016

It Takes a Tribe!

It started out innocently.  We had great intentions.  Our leadership team was sensing some anxiety that typically emerges around the end of first quarter on every school campus.  The honeymoon is over, as educators tend to say.  We met as a team to go over what we felt was needed based on observations and data.  We created a blueprint and delegated responsibility.  The team sent out invites to the teachers for our planning period meetings. I have to say,  I left the meeting thinking, "we got this!!!"

It was ready to go.

Then at 2 am that night I woke up in a panic. 
Were we missing the most important element?

The answer was, yes.

We pride ourselves on giving our students choice and voice, but I had a weight in my chest telling me we  were missing the target with our faculty and staff. 

To lead with integrity we must include the stakeholders that are making the greatest impact on our kiddos and I admit, as a leader, we did not include them in the conversation.  Immediately there was a sense of urgency to invite them into the conversation, so an email went out to our grade-level teacher leaders asking the following questions.

Question 1-
What is working for your team?  What support is helping?

Question 2-
What are areas the team needs to improve on?

Question 3-
How can we better support your teams needs and alleviate stress?

What are areas you would like us to focus on for our school based PD?

The feedback we received was insightful, deliberate, and action-driven.  

The leadership team met back up and re-aligned to the needs of our team.  Instead of us focusing on what we felt was important, we focused on what our teachers needed.  

We are lucky to have a tribe that is open to growing.  We are open to change.  We are open to building the foundation that will bring Vero Beach Elementary back to an "A."  

We do this putting our hearts 110% into our vision and mission.  I'm so grateful to work with a tribe that always focuses on what's best for the kiddos.  Our meeting took place on Friday with each grade level and were focused on what they needed.  We were transparent.  We were focused.  We were teacher and student-centered.

Then we did something not many are willing to do, we asked for feedback.  How can WE continue to grow for you?  What support do YOU need moving forward?

We must continue to give our tribe a voice. 

Tribe work makes the vibe work!

We also took time to reflect on why we teach.

Our team also took time to each write a hand-written postcard to a student who is making improvements in their class.  Over 70 postcards will be sent home to our kiddos to let them know how much we appreciate their efforts.

Our Tribe Rocks! 

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