Literacy Now

Latest Posts
ILA Journals
Corwin Webinar
ILA Journals
Corwin Webinar
20 Research Articles for 2020
Instructional Practices
ILA Membership
20 Research Articles for 2020
Instructional Practices
ILA Membership
  • Classroom Teacher
  • Administrator
  • Literacy Coach
  • Job Functions
  • Blog Posts
  • Mentorship
  • Leadership
  • Professional Development
  • School Leadership
  • Administration
  • Topics
  • In Other Words
  • The Engaging Classroom
  • Teacher Educator
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Reading Specialist
  • Literacy Education Student
  • Content Types

What Do You Stand For?

By Peg Grafwallner
 | Jan 17, 2017

grafwallner 011717After 25 years in the education “business,” I’ve learned that visionaries are rare. I’ve also worked with resume-padders, limelight-grabbers, and narrow-minded ninnies. Some were more concerned about their own personal agenda than about personnel.

When you do find that visionary with whom you connect, it’s best to listen, learn, and trust as you absorb as much of their vision as you can. Visionaries look at the big picture and delegate ideas, suggestions, and concepts to the team. The strength of the vision should be in the trust that the work will be done. That trust becomes contagious as we all work together for the commonality of the vision.

Although we appreciate that our school has come a long way in creating a common belief system, we also realize it is just the beginning of our journey. To become the school we want to be, we need to ask ourselves, “Are we working for the covenant, or are we working for the contract?”

The covenant is the promise we make in our mission/vision statement to our colleagues, our parents, and our students that we will do what we say we are going to do and that we will be held accountable for the sake of the greater good.  We will support colleagues so they develop into knowledgeable and compassionate professional educators. We will respect and communicate with parents to form partnerships that are enduring and trustworthy. Finally, we will create authentic opportunities for learning that give our students the hope they deserve and the consideration they need. In short, the covenant keeps all of us working together to cultivate the best educational experience for our peers, our parents, and our students.

When the covenant becomes too demanding or when the vision has not been made clear to all stakeholders, it is inevitable that the contract will become the purpose. If teachers don’t envision themselves growing, if parents don’t value the relationships, and if students become disengaged, our practice suffers, our relationships deteriorate, and our children fail. It is that simple.

Standing up for the covenant begs the question, what do you stand for? When you are able to answer that confidently and with purpose, you are on your way to building a better school. Become a visionary who develops a confident team of teachers, a thankful legion of parents, and a considerate class of students.

peg grafwallner headshotPeg Grafwallner is an instructional coach with Milwaukee Public Schools.Learn more about Peg on her website.


Leave a comment

Back to Top


Recent Posts