When you think about feeling good and feeling safe, where do you see yourself? Where is the place those two things happen for you?
Now that you have the place, who is there to help you feel safe and good? Is it the place only, or is it a combination of the place and the people in the place as well?
One last thing, do you have a time you felt safe and good? Do you have all of the things pictured in your mind? I am hoping you will share with us your thoughts. What place, people, time, and anything else help make you feel safe and good?
As a teacher and an administrator, I heard children over my career talk about loving to come to school. As the years clicked by, those words faded, and changes occurred. More violence entered the communities, and schools began to experience more violent behaviors and then attacks at schools. Crisis and safety plans were developed to include “active shooter” training. We added school resource officers to our schools and security measures. If school was a place, teachers were the people, and the time was your childhood when you felt safe and good, then I am asking you to work with me to help make it possible for All of our children.
School begins soon for many on a balanced calendar schedule. The summer is coming to an end before we know it. However, the violence of the world continues, the division of the country remains, and only problems are being focused on with no real solutions with an action plan to address all of the issues.
My roots run deep in my passion for helping children, education, and those who serve to help others in this world we share. It is not you or me but all of us who can choose to be part of the solution in a world focused on problems. We begin with Two Rules and bring HOPEFUL (Helping Out People Everywhere For Unity and Longevity)strategies with action plans to improve together school, home, and community.
I believe more than ever, your staff, students, families, and community want to know everyone is safe and feel good about being at school. How can you make this happen? We have some work to do and some steps to take to help lead our schools through this season. We begin with step 1 in Safety.
- Crisis plans- Update them
- Meet with your local police department and fire department
- Schedule your drills before the year begins
- Secure with the department’s access to the building for emergencies-Test out keys or fob access
- Make sure they have an updated map of the school and room assignments
- Departments need to have outside visible numbers to identify areas. Large numbers to coordinate with your building map
- Prepare a staff cell phone list- Ask staff if they want to be part of this for emergency purposes only. This will be shared with the departments with the map and room assignments, as well as the emergency bags for all rooms.
- Building Schedule shared with departments
- Emergency bags prepared for each classroom to contain
- Classroom list of students with medical information
- Staff cell phone list
- Medical supplies-bandages, wraps, ice bags
- Medical gloves
- Hand sanitizer
- Safety Vest & whistle
- Ask your Police Department and Fire Department if they suggest anything else to add
As the leader of your school, it is important to share now with the staff, families, and community your priority is for everyone to feel safe and good at school. It is also important to you to be HOPEFUL (Helping Out People Everywhere For Unity and Longevity); our children can feel this way everywhere they go.
Possible phrasing for communications. Maybe a Facebook post, Twitter, Newspaper, Newsletter, or multiple ways with consistent messaging.
I hope you will join us in choosing to be part of the solution daily as we make every environment safe for all of us. I only have Two Rules. Everyone who walks through the doors of (name of your school) will feel good and feel safe about being here. Before you say anything or do anything, ask yourself, is this going to make me or others feel good or safe. If the answer is no to either question, you should not choose to say or do. Choose to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. The choice is yours to make. We will work together on a culture that builds on leadership, self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and making decisions. Our children will be active in their learning plans as I believe Education is something we do with children, not to them. Children will share their strengths, weaknesses, and what they need help with as they continue to grow on their learning journey.
Student lead conferences are an essential part of the Two Rule philosophy. If you are not already doing this, do not worry, we will have some guidance for this as well.
I would appreciate it if you could share this blog with others who you know would be interested in education, leadership, and working together to help everyone feel good and safe at school. Thank you for being the solution daily!