Respect: We treat others as we expect to be treated. We embrace each individual’s unique talents and honor diverse life and work styles. We operate in a spirit of cooperation and value human dignity. We speak to each other kindly, and we use manners to show our appreciation.
Responsibility: We do what we say we are going to do. We take responsibility for our actions and words. We develop trust by following through on our commitments.
Being a Role Model: We set a good example. We are role models at school and outside of school. We use the skills we have learned to do the right thing.
Reach for the Stars: We have a growth mindset. We respond to challenging learning with perseverance and enthusiasm, knowing that when we struggle through something, we end up growing.
This seems like a nonsense statement. But this belief often requires a mindset shift to break away from the traditional vision of teachers as islands. The purpose of this statement is to acknowledge that teachers do a significant amount of work outside the classrooms with parents, peer teachers, and leaders. This belief is not just a nod to the value of collaboration; it is the challenge of Baldwin’s quote, “The children are always ours, every single one of them.” If we teach in schools and not classrooms, then it matters just as much how kids are in the classroom down the hall and in all the grades to come.
We realize that the outcomes our kids deserve necessitate continuously strong teaching from when our kids are four until they are twenty-two. An excellent Boulware classroom is not a catapult that sends a kid shooting off to college but part of a bridge. And all of our excellent teaching revolves around seeing that continuum and approaching each interaction with our children with urgent patience, an understanding of what lies ahead of them, but also an absolutely insane focus on accomplishing the most we can with the moment in front of us.
Joy is more than a tool for increased engagement. Joy is what it means to teach and learn in our schools. Joy appears in myriad ways across the PreK-16 continuum, but is palpable in every excellent classroom. It is not simply something you do in a hook to jazz kids up for a lesson. Joy is infused throughout the very act of teaching and learning. Kids should enjoy school so much that they can’t imagine missing a day and attendance rules become unnecessary.
We believe in a growth mindset about teaching and learning. Like a ray, there is no endpoint in teaching and learning. It is an art and science at which we can continually get better. Becoming a truly excellent teacher is a lifelong pursuit. We want every one of our teachers to embody the belief: I can become a great teacher and will never truly get to the end of this path because there’s so much to learn and so much to do in the act of teaching and learning.
(Inspired by KIPP School’s Core Staff Beliefs
Boulware Springs Charter School
A Tuition-free, Top-rated “A” Elementary School
1303 NE 23rd Avenue
Gainesville, Florida 32609
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