Our Myth of Isolation

It’s remarkable how few tasks we complete in isolation at school, right? Students are often asked to do their own work in class; however social learning is a large component of public schools. Even when a student is completing individual work, other students working as well surround them. Teaching can often appear to be a job that operates in seclusion, but this, too, is largely inaccurate. Our teachers spend hours collaboratively planning and refining lessons to meet the needs of all our students. The classroom door may shut at 8am, but the work that has been done to prepare for the day’s lesson has been produced cooperatively. In fact, a significant part of the job that I do as principal is to ensure that teachers and students don’t work in isolation, that they are supported in every way I am able.

The way in which we employ the 7 Habits is no exception. I do my best to begin with the end in mind, but it is nearly impossible to deliver on that plan unless I put first things first. I consistently look for a way to find a win-win, however that often requires me to seek first to understand, then be understood.

So, how can you support your student right now and ensure their success isn’t something that happens in isolation? Here are a few important daily tasks for you to complete with your child:

  1. Check your student’s homework folder, conduct chart, and/or their agenda EVERYDAY! Nothing is more important than being up to date with work that is coming home and information that the teacher needs you to have.
  2. For our older students, make it a habit of checking GradeSpeed with your child every night. Talk to them about their grades, the work that might be missing, and make a plan for success that includes both of you.
  3. Check your child’s homework EVERYDAY! When you are invested, your child will be invested. There isn’t an evening in the week that students aren’t practicing skills at home or reading a good book.

Bottom line – make yourself a part of your child’s evening routines. Not one of our students, regardless of how old they are, will succeed if we ask them to function in isolation. It will only be through our combined efforts, our synergy that our students will triumph.

Learning the 7 habits is fantastic. Being able to show the hand signs is wonderful as well, because it adds another layer of familiarity with the traits. Our big win will be when our students are able to articulate what those habits mean to them and how they can apply them in their lives. When that happens we will start to see the transformative change that we anticipate becoming a Leader in Me campus will have on our Condit Cats. When that occurs, it will most certainly be together, not in isolation.