The message on the board above is a pleasant alternative to posting athletic schedules, announcing the dates of parent/teacher conferences or creating interest in the coming Fun Fair. It tells parents and other community members an enlightening about the beliefs held by the staff. It communicates a positive mind set, a belief in miracles and a confidence in the people who work here.
Imagine if these message boards were consistently used to inform the community and students of beliefs of this nature. Possible communication could be:
"We see your child as more than a test score."
"Diversity is valued here."
"We invite your questions."
"Mistakes are permitted here."
"We see every child as a gift."
"We search for solutions here."
"We teach children how to think, not what to think."
"'I can't' doesn't live here."
"We believe in accountability with compassion."
"We teach to mind, body and spirit."
"The love of learning is nurtured here."
"The best answers aren't always in the book."
"We promote self-responsibility."
"Our goal is to make ourselves dispensable."
"We all work together for your child."
"You are your child's first and most important teacher and always will be."
"Our staff is teaching and learning."
"Every adult in the presence of a child is a teacher."
"We create a culture of accountability here for students and ourselves."
"Remember, experience can be messy and lead to tons of learning."
"We model the message."
"Your children are helping us learn. They are incredible teachers."
"Positive vibrations abound here. Come on in and feel it."
"There is no one best way."
"Attitudes are more easily caught than taught."
What message would you like to see on your school's message board? What steps are you willing to take to get it there?
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the coauthors of The Teacher Talk Advantage: Five Voices of Effective Teaching. They are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. They publish a free monthly e-zine for educators and another for parents. To sign up for the newsletters or learn more about the seminars they offer teachers and parents, visit their websites today: www.chickmoorman.com and www.thomashaller.com