Non-Negotiables at School

As I shared before in a previous blog post, our school has a professional book club. Our first title this semester is, ‘Neuro Teach; Brain Science and the Future of Education’ by Glenn Whitman and Ian Kelleher.

As I started reading this summer, I immediately found my provocation for one of our first faculty meeting of the academic year.

The book offers lists (I love lists) such as, ‘The Unconscionable List; Things a teacher should never do again’ and ‘The Top Twelve Researched-Informed Strategies Every Teacher Should be Doing with Every Student. This took me back to my PTC days, where I first came across the phrase, the Non-Negotiables, those practices and beliefs that guide teaching and learning at your school.

I took only a few samples from each list to share with our teachers and asked them to discuss. As I had hoped, the room was abuzz with conversations. I had also planned for teachers to contribute an idea to each list, but we ran out of time as the discussions lasted longer than I thought, but were well worth the time spent. Two main areas that sparked a lot of discussion were the importance of structuring your lesson effectively and rethinking Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences.

As I possibly gained a few more Book Club members that day, I also thought about our own school. We have our Mission, Vision, and Values; our Guiding Statements. While these are critical, what else would be on our Non-Negotiable List? What are the practices we should no longer be doing in the classroom and what are those practices we should be doing every day to support student learning?

How would your school’s Non-Negotiable list read?

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