We Can monitor from the start!

Posted by Brenda Yoho

"Lead with Two Rules" is more than just a guiding principle; it's a blueprint for building a comprehensive system of support for students, ensuring their needs are met and their potential is maximized. When we commit to meeting all student needs, we create a foundation that allows us to achieve the ambitious goals we set for our educational communities. This approach transforms our climate and culture into a positive, trusting environment where solutions are the focus, and every student feels valued and understood.

Building a Supportive System

Lead with Two Rules focuses on creating a supportive system by emphasizing two essential rules: feeling good and feeling safe. These rules are fundamental to fostering an environment where students can thrive academically, emotionally, and socially. By prioritizing these rules, we address the holistic needs of our students, ensuring they are well-equipped to face challenges and seize opportunities.

Establishing Teams for Comprehensive Support

To effectively implement the principles of "Lead with Two Rules," it is crucial to establish dedicated teams that work collaboratively to support students. These teams are composed of educators, counselors, administrators, and other stakeholders who share a common goal: to ensure that every student feels good and safe. Here’s how these teams can be structured and function:

  1. Multidisciplinary Approach: Teams should include diverse professionals who bring unique perspectives and expertise. This multidisciplinary approach ensures that all aspects of a student's well-being are considered, from academic performance to mental health and social integration.
  2. Regular Collaboration: Teams should meet regularly to discuss student progress, identify emerging needs, and develop action plans. This ongoing collaboration fosters a proactive approach to addressing issues before they become significant obstacles.
  3. Student-Centered Focus: Every decision and action taken by the team should center around the student's best interests. This involves actively listening to students, involving them in decision-making, and tailoring support to their individual needs.
  4. Data-Driven Decisions: Teams should utilize data to inform their strategies. This includes academic performance data, behavioral reports, and feedback from students and parents. Data-driven decisions help in creating targeted interventions that yield measurable results.
  5. Positive and Trusting Environment: The core of "Lead with Two Rules" is building a climate of positivity and trust. Teams should work to create an environment where students feel safe to express themselves, take risks, and grow. This involves consistent encouragement, recognition of achievements, and support during setbacks.

Achieving Goals Through Collaborative Efforts

When teams are effectively established and operate within the framework of "Lead with Two Rules," the entire educational ecosystem benefits. Here’s how:

  • Enhanced Student Outcomes: Students who feel good and safe are more likely to engage in learning, perform well academically, and exhibit positive behavior. This leads to improved overall student outcomes and success.
  • Strong Community Ties: Collaboration among educators, parents, and community members strengthens the support network around each student. This holistic support system ensures that students receive consistent messages of encouragement and assistance both in and out of school.
  • Focus on Solutions: By fostering a culture where solutions are the focus, teams can address challenges constructively. This positive outlook helps in overcoming obstacles and continuously improving the support provided to students.
  • Sustainable Success: The principles of "Lead with Two Rules" create a sustainable model for success. As teams work together to support students, the positive climate and culture become ingrained in the school's fabric, leading to long-term benefits.

"Lead with Two Rules" provides a structured approach to establishing teams that support students comprehensively. By meeting all student needs, we create an environment where goals are achieved, and every student can flourish. The result is a positive, trusting culture focused on solutions and continuous growth.


Monitoring Students from the Start of the Day: The Trifecta Approach

Every school day offers a fresh opportunity to positively impact the lives of our students. From the moment they step into the building, our interaction with them can set the tone for their day. Using a trifecta approach—focusing on what we see, hear, and think—we can gain valuable insights into their well-being and needs, ensuring that we provide the support they require.

1. What We See

Observing students as they arrive gives us crucial visual cues about their emotional and physical state. Are they smiling or do they seem withdrawn? Is their attire appropriate for the weather, or are there signs they might need assistance? Noticing changes in their appearance or demeanor can be the first indicator that something is amiss. A child who is usually energetic but appears lethargic or disheveled might be experiencing difficulties at home or health issues. By keenly observing these visual signals, we are better positioned to offer timely support.

2. What We Hear

Listening to our students is just as important as observing them. Their tone of voice, choice of words, and even the silence can tell us a lot about their current state. Are they engaging in conversation or responding in monosyllables? Do they sound excited, anxious, or upset? Greeting each student and taking a moment to listen to their responses helps us detect subtle changes. A child who typically shares enthusiastically about their evening but is suddenly quiet may be dealing with unspoken issues. Through attentive listening, we can better understand and address their concerns.

3. What We Think

Our thoughts and reflections after observing and listening to students are crucial. By combining what we've seen and heard, we can form a holistic understanding of each child's situation. This synthesis allows us to identify patterns or anomalies in behavior. Reflecting on these observations helps us determine the appropriate steps to take. Should we check in with a particular student later in the day? Do we need to inform a counselor or a parent about a concern? This thoughtful consideration ensures that our actions are deliberate and impactful.

The Starting Point, Not the End

Greeting students each morning is not where our responsibility ends but rather where it begins. Consistent, daily interactions allow us to build rapport and trust, making it easier for students to open up about their struggles. It also enables us to recognize and celebrate their successes and milestones, reinforcing a positive and supportive school environment.

This trifecta approach—seeing, hearing, and thinking—empowers us to be proactive rather than reactive. By identifying changes early, we can intervene and provide the necessary support before issues escalate. It fosters a culture of care and vigilance, ensuring that every student feels seen, heard, and valued from the start of their day.

Monitoring students from the moment they enter the school grounds is a vital practice. Through keen observation, attentive listening, and thoughtful reflection, we create a supportive and responsive environment that prioritizes the well-being and success of every child. Let’s embrace this trifecta approach, making our morning greetings the beginning of a continuous journey of care and support for our students. When we work together in a collaborative and systemic process with procedures in place with teams to ensure we address issues quickly and take care of all needs.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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