As a recovering principal 🙂 and supervising teacher of pre-service teachers, I have the wonderful opportunity to walk the halls of quite a few schools. I love to ‘check the temperature’ of each school in the first five minutes after I enter. What is the first thing that I observe when I open the front door? Who is the first person (if anyone) to greet me? What is my ‘gut’ feeling about the school? I don’t think I am alone While these temperature checks are never comprehensive enough to make a judgement or generalization, they are pretty valuable as a first impression.
On pages 19-20 of The Maplewood Story (2007) Dr. Van Dyk asks some great questions about Maplewood during his principal-led tour. Does the school breathe an air of reflection? Is this the kind of place where a reflective culture will feel at home? Is it safe to say that ‘a school is a school is a school”? Are all schools essentially the same and different only in the details?
An idea for you to consider: Take an individual walk through your school and respond to some of these questions. Post your responses to this blogsite for the rest of us to read and consider. After walking through your schools, I have some thoughts to share but would be greatly interested in comparing my perspective with yours!