An Old School LYS Principal submits:
“SC, when you told me that faculty modeling was the alpha and omega of getting students into dress code, I had my doubts. I hate to admit that, but it is true. I was sure there had to be a way to change kids that did not involve changing faculty. After a year in the most dysfunctional school, in what may be the most dysfunctional district in the State of Texas, I have now obtained both the experience and knowledge needed to comment on this topic.
The verdict? You were more right than you know, or at least you were more right than you emphasized at the time. And the issue goes well beyond dress code. Show me an undisciplined student body and I will show you an undisciplined faculty. Show me rude, insubordinate students and I will show you rude, insubordinate faculty members.
How does this happen? As you constantly remind us, it is leadership that allows it to occur. I now know from experience there is almost no hope of getting kids under control without first getting the faculty under control. This includes the issue of dress code, too.”
Just today I was training the staff of a struggling campus on effective discipline management practices (specifically, the LYS STAR system, which you are familiar with). The first thing I started with was, “All student performance – Academic, Behavior, Social – is driven by adult practice. We are the critical variable.” I closed with, “If we are not willing to model every one of our student expectations, then get rid of the expectation.”
Excellence in behavior and performance is more of a function of habit than a function of choice. Habits are built though routines, coaching and mimicry. When you have a staff that doesn’t following routines and aren’t good role models, their ability to coach is severely compromised. Students respond best when adults hit their marks consistently. That is why you can have two peer campuses and one consistently outperforms the other. And that is why the performance of your students (in terms of value added) is a direct reflection of your professional performance and capabilities. If you don’t like that, change something.
Think. Work. Achieve.