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School Mission Statement

During a recent #pechat, an idea came up that I believe could be a great tool to help physical educators build capacity as leaders and valued professionals within their schools: to take the lead on developing a school-wide mission statement.

School mission statements are brief descriptions of what fundamental purposes drive any given school. They help guide thinking, govern school values, and help strengthen the school bond. Because every individual within a school is affected by that school’s mission statement, it is essential to involve representatives from all of the various tribes that make a school (e.g. teachers, administrators, support staff, parents, facilities staff) in the development process.

The draft of your school’s mission statement will most likely find itself reaching a large group of people, and this is why getting involved with its development is a great way to increase the perceived value of not only your physical education program, but also you role as a physical education professional within your school.

Here’s how I would go about doing this:

  1. Talk to your principal about creating a mission statement for your school. If your school already has a mission statement, ask when it was last revised (it might be due for an update!)
  2. Send an email or message to your school’s staff/students/community explaining why you are creating (or updating) your school’s mission statement and why it is so important that they are involved in the draft process.
  3. Create a Google Doc in which your school’s various stakeholders (e.g. teachers, administrators, students, support staff, parents) can provide input as to what they believe should be included in the school’s mission statement. Here’s a Mission Statement Development Document template I created that might be of help.
  4. Be sure to include a strong contribution on behalf of your school’s Physical Education Department. This will be essential in helping increase the perceived value of your role within the school.
  5. Once the mission statement has reached its final form and all stakeholders can agree on it, encourage teachers and administrators to promote the mission statement throughout the school (post it in classrooms, offices, libraries, and, most importantly, your gymnasium!)

A mission statement is a great tool to provide guidance for your school. As for you, being involved in the development of your school’s mission statement might just be a great way to raise awareness of the important role you, as a physical educator, play within your school.

I truly enjoyed the #pechat on building capacity in our schools and would love to continue it in the comments below. That being said, what challenges do you foresee yourself encountering when trying to lead in the development of your school’s mission statement? What is your personal mission statement for your #physed classes?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

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Joey Feith is the founder of ThePhysicalEducator.com. He currently teaches elementary physical education at St. George’s School of Montreal in Quebec, Canada.