Excellence implies comparison to other options that, of course, are inferior. To what is the school being compared? Relative to how bad it used to be? To the other “less-than-adequate” schools in the area? Or should Excellence be determined by comparison to the ideal fulfillment of the school’s mission? We have the privilege of visiting many, many schools throughout the year, and as we’re conducting school assessments we look for these qualities to evaluate Excellence. A School of Excellence is able to quantitatively and accurately demonstrate that students are achieving at or above their capacity to learn. Standardized testing isn’t the perfect assessment model, but it is inevitably part of the portfolio of methods used to document levels of mastery. Meaningful Student Product is another valuable means of validating the quality of the school’s program. A School of Excellence has 80% or more high performing faculty. A school is only as good as it’s ability to recruit and retain most effective teachers and coaches. Faculty culture is a priority in this school, making it everyone’s job and someone’s job. A School of Excellence has a sustaining school board that consistently exercises best practices in governance, leadership, and learning. The board provides vision, viability, and visibility for the school, maintaining a healthy, supportive relationship with the chief administrator. A School of Excellence consistently achieves at least 90% student re-enrollment, sustaining a high degree of momentum with families who actively create word-of-mouth marketing on the grapevine to attract new students. A School of Excellence has an operational plan to achieve scalability and sustainability. Economies of scale are appropriately used to reduce expenses, and quality standards are established and measured throughout the organization for continuous improvement.
Integrity in the School
As we seek to prepare young people with skills for career success, Warren Buffet reminds us what makes great employees: “In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first one, the other two will kill you.” We live in an age where “the end justifies the means” has become the mantra of far too many adults who are role models for children. Nowhere have the circumstances and fallout been more disheartening than in the recent Atlanta school cheating scandal. Admittedly, the underlying issues that lead to dishonesty are often complex and multidimensional. People rationalize their actions with seemingly valid reasons. But as Buffet suggests, a lack of integrity comes with a high price tag. How do children learn to be honest, respect societal norms, and act in ways consistent with the values, beliefs, and moral principles they claim to hold? How do teachers instill and reinforce a code of ethics in their classrooms when evidence suggests high-stakes testing fosters a culture of dishonesty? These are tough questions. Integrity is the Basis of Social Harmony and Action Children are not born with integrity or the behaviors we associate with it like honesty, honor, respect, authenticity, social responsibility, and the courage to stand up for what they believe is right. It is derived through a process of cultural socialization—influences from all spheres of a child’s life. In their school environments, students acquire these values and behaviors from adult role models and peers, and in particular, through an understanding of the principles of academic integrity. When students learn integrity in classroom settings, it helps them apply similar principles to other aspects of their lives. Most K-12 educators recognize that the students they teach today will become the leaders of tomorrow. Academic curriculum is constantly updated to meet the increasing demands of a changing knowledge society. Yet, we pay far less attention to the habits that build ethical leaders—habits that develop during childhood and adolescence. A recent study noted that 40% of U.S. faculty members have ignored cases of cheating in their courses, an indication that teachers don’t want to “rock the boat” or deal with angry parents. Research compiled by the Educational Testing Service suggests troubling issues related to the development of K-12 student integrity, including: In past decades, it was the struggling student who was more likely to cheat. Today, more above-average students are cheating as pressure mounts to be accepted to competitive colleges. Students who cheat feel justified in their behavior and unfairly disadvantaged if they approach their studies with integrity. Cheating begins in elementary school where children learn to bend rules to win competitive games against classmates. Young children believe cheating is wrong, but could be acceptable under certain circumstances. Middle school students feel increased pressure to be dishonest because there is more emphasis on grades. Cheating peaks in high school when 75% of students admit to some sort of academic misconduct.
RESPECT FOR DIVERSE VOICES AND IDEAS
Most people would say it’s to learn the three R’s: reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. But a school culture that promotes diversity in the classroom teaches students something that’s more important: how to live and work in a society where every individual is unique. In an increasingly fragmented society, the ability to connect with peers, coworkers and neighbours with diverse backgrounds and abilities is invaluable. Diversity improves critical-thinking skills, builds empathy and encourages students to think differently. If you want to tackle the issue of diversity in the classroom for your school, then this post is for you. We’ll cover:
PASSION FOR LEARNING
Passion is on the basis of effective teaching. Passion which is indispensable for learning and teaching facilitates learning thorough desire and enthusiasm it creates. Passionate teachers via creating effective learning environments endeavor to increase learning potentials of their students
A foundation for development for all terms honesty, friendship, love for others, unity, sharing, tolerance, through various activities
We at LEELA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL have already tried to instill values like honesty, friendship, love for others, unity, sharing, tolerance, through various activities conducted in school. Values are a constant part of the curriculum as children start their day with morning assemblies which include prayer and thought for the day. Young absorbent minds are the best recipients of these values, as they are so pure and unadulterated right values given at this early age helps to shape them into individuals and thus global citizens. Regular value education classes are a part of the curriculum where children learn the right values by listening to stories, enacting stories and interacting with their teachers who help them understand values. Constant guidance at every step shapes up the minds of the young children.
1. Mr. X is Secretary of School Society. he has been working in close proximity with children since a long time. The activity based learning programme of the school has been initiated by him. Subject close to his heart is art and design. Much of the activities undertaken in the school revolve around this. he has invited many folk artists and artisans for workshops and lectures. he travels much to learn about different cultures, traditions and architecture.
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