Source: Globe, Clker, http://bit.ly/1CVSonk; Thinking Person, Clker, http://bit.ly/1EmDSQV; Road, MorgueFile, http://bit.ly/1RiOc5y; Draft, Pixabay, http://bit.ly/1J0YTqL; Team, Pixabay, http://bit.ly/1LDondq; Information, Pixabay, http://bit.ly/1JuhQnu
Hello, and welcome. Today, we will be examining the development and importance of a vision and a mission. I'm sure you've heard of those words before and used often, but might never have had the opportunity to stop and think about what they mean.
In this lesson, you'll have that chance, so let's get started. From a very young age, children are asked the question, what do you want to be when you grow up? The answer can range from the cute, to the fantastical, and everything in between. As we grow older, however, and our focus narrows, we begin to take steps toward defining what we want to be or do, and make a plan to get there.
As we all know, plans change, and we learn to adjust on the fly. However, the end goal, whatever it may be, is still where you want the long, windy, sometimes bumpy road, to lead. The success of any PLC is predicated on certain critical features, namely establishing norms, a vision, a mission, and goals.
It's also essential that these components are created by teams or a community of practice. This is a process that in any field, SBMs engage in, and the process is cyclical and often revisited based upon new information. In schools that is academic and social emotional data, information about student behavior, and school culture, as well as teacher, parent, and student feedback.
In this lesson, we will focus on the vision and the mission. After establishing norms, the next step a PLC should take is establishing their vision. Vision statements are developed with input from the entire team, and should be kept concise, as they are broad statements that are generally a sentence or less.
They are considered to be the hopes and dreams of what the PLC wants to achieve or become. Ultimately, the vision statement is setting the direction for the team. Therefore, the importance should be understood by all. Furthermore, if your school is creating a vision, it's important to take into account the vision of the larger district, and the voice of all the stakeholders on the team.
Here are some important concepts to keep in mind and questions to ask as you create a vision statement. PLCs require that all members of the group are involved in this process, and that they understand the meaning and importance of the vision statement.
As a team, ask yourself, where do you want to be in three to five years? And what do you value, believe, and hope for? It is also encouraged that you look at examples of vision statements from known organizations, and you discuss what they mean to the individual members of the group, and what they find effective or ineffective alignment.
It is also crucial so you will definitely want to review the vision statement for your district. Student and teacher data, as well as parent feedback about the organization, must be considered. This will help you determine if you are meeting the vision of the district, and reaching the hopes and dreams of the teachers, students, and parents.
Taking all that into account, ask yourself what you aspire to be in the future. After all that, you are ready to work as a team to draft a vision statement, and realize that chances are it will take many attempts and revisions before one is settled upon.
Here's a brief example of what the process might look like. A team of fifth grade teachers has been established and given weekly time to collaborate. A building administrator explains the steps and importance of creating a vision statement, and charges them with the task of writing one for their team.
The team agrees that in three years, they want to be viewed as having prepared their students to excel for the transition to the middle school. They also agree members of the team will bring back findings and plans for the entire school in an effort to share their work. The team then looks to similar schools, for example, the vision statements, and combs through them looking for what they find effective and ineffective.
Next, they examine their own district's vision statement and keep in mind as they move forward that it needs to be aligned. For the purposes of this example, the district's vision statement will be, "Our vision is to create highly effective schools helping students as they prepare for college and career."
The teachers decide to create a survey for sixth grade students, parents, and teachers, asking about their experiences with the transition from elementary to middle school. It is determined that the current practices are not meeting the vision of the district, and not doing enough to meet the expectations of the stakeholders.
After numerous discussions about what they want the transition to look like, they develop the following draft. "Our vision is to provide students with the social, emotional, and academic interventions that are needed in order to ensure they achieve their fullest potential in the middle school."
After establishing its vision, the next step for a PLC is to define its mission, which is really just a summary of the steps planned to reach the vision. You'll want to note that mission statements are really the reason that PLCs exist in the first place. It's what you do to get to where you want to be.
The process of developing a mission statement is very similar to that of developing the vision. The only difference is that the team would research and discuss examples of mission statements, as well as align it to the district's mission statement. In this case, our mission is to empower students to unfold their potential as whole individuals through creating a healthy and challenging learning environment.
Again, this is also a process, and you most likely won't get to where you want to be on the first attempt. Continuing with the example of a fifth grade team working on transitioning, they would again follow the outlined steps in order to arrive at a mission statement similar to this one.
Our school recognizes that all fifth graders need to develop certain skills in order to successfully transition to the middle school. Therefore, fifth grade teachers will work with the other grades to foster a caring and creative academically challenging environment with an emphasis on social, and emotional, and intellectual development of each child. It sounds good, but it's still considered a draft because there is one more step.
The final step is to conduct an alignment analysis. First, you will want to look at the vision and mission you've created side by side, and ask if they are aligned with one another. In this case, the only change I would consider is to broaden the vision statement to include all students, because in the mission, it points out that the fifth grade teachers will collaborate with the other grades.
We have arrived at the point where we would make sure that the work completed is in step with the district's mission and vision. And in this case, they certainly are. You may want to pause the video here and conduct your own analysis. We have come to the end of this lesson, so it's time for a quick summary.
In this lesson we looked at components of a PLC, and learned specifically about vision and mission statements. I model the steps for you for creating both a vision and a mission statement. And finally, we check for alignment. I would like to leave you with this food for thought. In whatever role you currently have, reflect upon your vision and mission.
If you don't have any, it might be a good time to establish them. As you reflect on how this new information can be applied, you may want to look at the Additional Resources section that comes with this video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skill set. Thanks for joining me. Have a great day.
(00:16-00:45) Getting There
(00:46-01:24) The Big Picture
(01:25-03:10) Vision Statements
(03:11-04:42) Sample Vision Statement
(04:43-05:33) Mission Statements
(05:34-06:11) Sample Mission Statement
(06:12-06:47) Alignment Check
(06:48-07:37) Summary/Food For Thought
FranklinCovey Mission Statement Builder
This free online tool helps you and your team develop a mission statement that is customized to meet the needs of your organization.
School Mission Statements: Where Is Your School Going?
This article walks you through the building of a team mission and vision. Included in the article are links to real examples of school mission and vision statements.