A new school year begins with excitement, nerves, hopes and dreams. After a couple of weeks, the ‘newness’ wears away and routines take over: routines of getting up early, being on time, being organised, having lunches sorted, and everything else that goes with busy households and families doing life. Sometimes, once routines are established, we can lower our expectations, forget the dreams, and be mediocre and even boring.
At school we love to set our year up well with classrooms organised and curriculum ready. We set high expectations of how we learn and interact at the start of the year. But how do we maintain that once the hum drum of life sets in? It’s important that as a school and community we believe in what we do and how we do it.
When teachers believe that together, they are capable of developing students’ critical thinking skills, creativity, and mastery of complex content, it happens! Collective teacher efficacy (CTE) refers to a staff’s shared belief that through their collective action, they can positively influence student outcomes, including those who are disengaged and/or disadvantaged. Educators with high efficacy show greater effort and persistence, a willingness to try new teaching approaches, set more challenging goals, and attend more closely to the needs of students who require extra assistance. In addition, when collective efficacy is present, staff are better equipped to foster positive behaviour in students and in raising student’s expectations of themselves by convincing them that they can do well. (https://thelearningexchangCollective Teacher Efficacy: The Effect Size Research and Six Enabling Conditionse.ca/collective-teacher-efficacy/ By Jenni Donohoo, January 9, 2017. )
What is our collective efficacy at MECS? Do we as a school community believe in what we do with such passion and drive that together we are fostering a wonderful learning environment? Do we together believe that as we do this thing called ‘Christian Education’ in partnership, we are making a difference in each and every one of our students? As I think about our hopes and dreams for MECS Primary for 2020 I am challenged that together we believe that every child, with every parent, grandparent, teacher, Education Support team member... we can make a difference. But even more so I am challenged that we press into God to do this. It is not by our own efforts that we can fulfil the MECS vision of ‘Seeking the Kingdom of God in Education’ or assist our students toward responsive discipleship in the world. It’s not by our own efforts that we can see every child as a ‘Child of God with a Strong Heart and a Strong Mind.’
So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6, NIV.
As a school we need to constantly and wholeheartedly seek for God to give us the strength, passion, energy and drive, and the knowledge that MECS is his school and his place.
What can we work on together to demonstrate our shared efficacy and belief in our school?
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3, NIV.