This is the third of four blog posts that I am sharing to elaborate on our work for re-creating our school’s mission/vision (First blog, linked - Inspire Learning; second blog, linked - Act with Empathy).
As a staff, we identified Happiness and Commitment as core values within our school. As a smaller team, we took those words and created the phrase Feel Pride. Based off of feedback that we received, Feel Pride became Van Allen Pride.
What follows is the thought process (as well as my own elaboration) for how and why we went from Happiness and Commitment to Van Allen Pride.
Pride isn’t arrogance, and it isn’t boastful. Instead Pride comes from feelings of self-respect, satisfaction, and accomplishment. Pride is a good thing. Pride is NOT something that we should ever be ashamed of feeling. Pride is something that we should always have in regards to all that we are doing. Feeling Pride correlates with strong levels of commitment and intense feelings of happiness.
In his book Beyond Basketball Coach K’s Keywords for Success, Mike Krzyzewski describes it (Pride) as, “A feeling you get from being a part of something bigger than you.” We want staff, students, parents, and other community members to have that feeling of Pride from being a part of Van Allen Elementary School. Krzyzewski goes-on to say, Pride is putting, “Your signature on everything that you do - your best.”
At the end of one of my all-time favorite picture books, The Dot, Vashti's character hands the paper to the boy and says to him, “Please...sign it.” That’s Pride. Put your name on everything that you do. Let other people know that it is your work. Always give your best work, knowing that your work is attached to your name. And then feel good about your work. Feel good about your effort. Feel Pride. Feel Pride in Van Allen. Feel Pride in everything that you do that is associated with Van Allen. Feel Pride that you are a part of all that we are accomplishing at Van Allen.