Dear School Leader,
As you get on the train or jet (choose your metaphor!) called school and get it rolling toward take-off, I would like to pose ten questions for consideration:
1. Will students and parents clearly see how passion, mission, people, and practice all come together at your school this year? Is what you are doing distinctively Christian?
2. Have you equipped your staff to nurture the faith of your students in the areas of curriculum, classroom, and community?
3. Is there a culture of continuous improvement that is evident at your school? Is there openness about seeking information for improvement from students, parents, community, or accreditation team members?
4. Will you increase student passion for learning this year? How will you celebrate student learning?
5. Is there a system of support and guidance in place for new teachers and those that need improvement? Are you balancing truth and grace in your supervision/evaluation process with staff?
6. Do you have a strategic vision you are communicating or are you just going with the flow and hoping for the best?
7. What are the ways you hope to intentionally foster a Christ-like community that is owned by students and staff?
8. Are you encouraging your teaching staff to be innovative, to explore new ways of teaching and learning, and empowering them to engage students?
9. Do the processes, events, celebrations, written and unwritten rules serve to honor the image of God in each person and build capacity to worship him?
10. How will you provide for your own learning this year?
Dan Beerens is an educational consultant, author, international speaker, and educational leader. Before starting Dan Beerens Consulting in May 2010, he served as Vice President of Learning Services and Director of Instructional Improvement at Christian Schools International. Prior to that, he was the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Holland Christian Schools. Dan has also worked as teacher and principal in urban and suburban public and Christian schools in Wisconsin and Illinois. He serves as a Senior Fellow at CACE (Center for the Advancement of Christian Education), represents Curriculum Trak sales and professional development and serves as co-chair of the annual Christian Deeper Learning conference. He blogs regularly for CACE and is the author of Evaluating Teachers for Professional Growth: Creating a Culture of Motivation and Learning (Corwin Press) and co-editor of the recent book MindShift: Catalyzing Change in Christian Education (ACSI).