I honestly believe that a shared vision is the primary ingredient in the secret sauce to drive innovation in our schools.
As a superintendent, principal, or other school leader, you want to implement important instructional initiatives for the school year. How much time do you really have to create this vision all while maintaining your daily tasks in your position? If you’re anything like me, then you probably can’t even count the number of hours you spend just preparing for the events that are already on your calendar or things that fall in your lap throughout the day. Adding these initiatives to your calendar is just unthinkable. Imagine if you were given a plan, all the strategies, and all the tools in your hand to creating a vision that will empower teachers to engage in meaningful reflection and move each individual student to personal growth.
How confident would you feel that you could really implement this vision and create a successful school culture that is centered on teamwork, coaching, and caring for each other?
The Importance of Having a Clear Vision
At any given point in time, there could be students and teachers in schools that are experiencing burnout, teaching, and learning in isolation, and lacking real systems to bring about change. This includes the very people in your school. Without a solid foundation in the right direction and systems to unite your teams, they are held hostage to an endless cycle from which they need to bring about change. A strong instructional vision is not something far from your reach; it is literally right here in this guidebook.
We can’t wait for others to fix our problems. We can’t continue to wait until next week or next month to find the time in our schedule to create this vision. We are all stakeholders. We all have a part to play, whether we work at the district level or campus level. The solution to lack of vision and systems will happen when you are ready to put the boots on the ground and take steps to climb your summit. Helping your teachers and students see this vision improves their teaching and student learning.
Now imagine instead of staff and student disengagement, isolated learning, and always wondering what to do next, you stepped into a school where students and teachers are thriving, they’re eager to do more, and you have a system for serving all of your students from low performing to high performing. Your campus has improved in state accountability, and your energy is replenished. You now feel like you have your head above water. You are ready to achieve your campus goals.
Each one of us can make this vision a reality. If you are a superintendent, set aside time to grow your campus leaders. If you are a principal, stop the mindset of “getting ready to get ready.” The time is now. Use your knowledge and skills to create the school you imagine. The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your school’s full potential- these are the keys that will motivate you to cross the finish line. Successful leaders know the importance of creating a strong and shared vision. With this vision, you can accomplish big things.