The Educational Framework process on its own will have a significant effect on your school, there is no doubt about that, but are there other things your school or district can do to increase the process’s impact? Of course! By implementing any or all of the following during the process, you have the opportunity to elevate your end game and maximize success!
1. Staff Professional Development
During the initial stages of implementing an Educational Framework, it is recommended staff be provided with similar professional development options, or ones that are strictly in line with the school’s overall vision and mission. If your goal is to achieve a cohesive teaching and learning culture, then it’s best to limit choices and ensure that all staff are hearing the same message before bringing in new ideas. For example, while working at the Netherlands Inter-community School (NIS), it was the administration’s goal to bring language to the forefront; therefore, staff development and training centered around areas such as implementing a guiding program, improving student speaking and listening skills, the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing, etc. In this way, as far as language was concerned, whether you were a teacher in the Early Years or Primary Years, Dutch Stream or English Stream, staff development opportunities and messages were consistent.
2. Staff Planners and Handbooks
Professional development is great; however, all the information packed into a single session or over a few can be overwhelming to take in. Providing staff with learning tools, such as planners and handbooks outlining key points from sessions attended, is helpful as reference points for all. This is why during the Educational Framework process, planners are designed to support and implement your school’s vision and handbooks are recommended.
3. Parent Brochures
While it’s fantastic that staff are learning new things, parents are often left in the dark about the impact of the changes on their children’s learning at school, and the ways they can offer support at home. For this reason, while working at NIS, I created a series of language related brochures to offer parents that covered reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, learning a foreign language, etc. In this way parents could be informed and have concrete tools to use at home with their children, as seen in the sample below:
To learn more about brochure design, see - Creating Brochures for Your School.
4. School Conference
To organize a conference at your school is no small feat; however, the impact on both your staff and your community cannot be underestimated. For your staff, allowing them to take the lead and present learnings from professional development offered by your school is empowering. At NIS, I witnessed staff members rising to the challenge and presenting language related PD on reading, writing, learning a foreign language, ELL, etc. and they all rocked it. Not only did our own staff present, but we also invited outside speakers throughout the day – over 30 sessions were offered alongside keynote speakers. As for the community, our parents took notice that we were a school placing language at the forefront of all we did. And in Jakarta, Indonesia and surrounding areas, other international schools took notice of what we were doing, and what we were about. All of this helped to strengthen our school and further unify our teaching and learning culture.
For tips on how to organize a conference at your school, whether big or small, initial budget or not, see – How to Organize a Conference at Your School.
The above are just a few ideas to enhance the effect of implementing an Educational Framework at your school. Have you tried any of the above suggestions at your school? Tried something different that worked? We’d love to hear your stories of success!