Symbolic Frame Wiki Questions


To what degree are the mission and vision statements employed?


(David W. Adkins) "When a [[#|school]] has a positive, professional culture, one finds meaningful staff development, successful curricular reform, and the effective use of student performance data. In these cultures, staff and student learning thrive" (Peterson, 2002). Every mission and vision statement is put in place to promote a positive atmosphere within the workplace. These statements are there in order to not only motivate teachers and administrators, but to reassure parents that they have made the right educational decision for their children when picking a [[#|school]]. Mission and Vision statements are the basic foundation on which a school is formed. A mission and vision statement says a lot about a school, for instance; "We just want your kids to enroll here in order to boost our government funding"...this probably would not fly to far with the community, nor would it promote a positive image among its teachers.

Peterson, K. "Enhancing School Culture: Reculturing [[#|Schools]]." Journal of Staff Development. 23.3 (2002). Retrieved from http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/qf/burnout_qt/reculturingschools.pdf on 26 August 2012.
I believe that there are many Symbolic Leaders in the school that employ the mission and vision statements every day. Staff in my center reiterate the mission statement daily through his or her work. The mission and vision remain the most important aspect of the school. It can be hard to employ either when the center is run through a large corporation, but my center does this well. Each staff member takes pride in her work and enjoys coming to work every day. (Jill Demaree)

Symbolic leaders represent the mission and vision each and every day. Their actions and words imply the school’s initiatives. Making the mission and vision apparent gives the learning community members common goals to direct and empower them. Sharing common goals paves the path for a functional collaboration. A mission ignites a pride of purpose. A vision births the hope of dreams coming true and inspires work towards making dreams a reality. (Lisa Horoszewski)


"When a school has a positive, professional culture, one finds meaningful staff development, successful curricular reform, and the effective use of student performance data. In these cultures, staff and student learning thrive" (Peterson, 2002). Every mission and vision statement is put in place to promote a positive atmosphere within the workplace. These statements are there in order to not only motivate teachers and administrators, but to reassure parents that they have made the right [[#|educational]] decision for their children when picking a school. Mission and Vision statements are the basic foundation on which a school is formed. A mission and vision statement says a lot about a school, for instance; "We just want your kids to enroll here in order to boost our government funding"...this probably would not fly to far with the community, nor would it promote a positive image among its teachers.


Peterson, K. "Enhancing School Culture: Reculturing [[#|Schools]]." Journal of Staff Development. 23.3 (2002). Retrieved from http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/qf/burnout_qt/reculturingschools.pdf on 26 August 2012.

At my current school, there is no mission or vision statement. At my last school, the mission and vision statements were displayed in all classrooms. I feel that they were not well [[#|employed]] at all. Even with their easy accessibility, most teachers could not repeat them. The mission had been written many years before and most of the staff had been [[#|employed]] after it was written. The school did not do a good job of following the ideals behind the vision. (Danielle Hunt)


Missions and values are employed at a high degree. The mission of the school describes the culture of the school and the values that the school hopes to instill in the students. In the symbolic frame, this mission is carried out in the rituals the school holds from year to year. One ritual that could demonstrate the mission of the school is by having students decorate posters explaining what the school stands for. These posters are then displayed around the school in hallways and stairwells. My school’s ritual for the mission is to post the mission and values in every classroom. The mission is also displayed on the school’s website. (Christine Arthur)


(Jasmin Owsley) The vision and mission statements employed in the symbolic frame are by the symbolic leaders that carry those mission and vision statements whenever they are at work and in the community. The symbolic leader becomes and embodies the school vision and mission, so much so, that others view them that way. A symbolic leader at my school is the principal, he is known in the community for taking care of his staff and teachers and for being honest and upront about school issues. He uses expressive language that is easy to understand and meaningful, he also uses metaphors and symbols to motivate (Bolman & Deal, 2010).

Who are the heroes or heroines of a school using this frame and why?


Deal and Peterson (2009) convey to the reader that a hero or heroine of a school is someone who exemplifies core values in a manner that causes them to be looked at as an icon. The function of any school is always and foremost centered on children, I would hope anyway. A hero or heroine can be any stakeholder who cultivates the shared values and beliefs to place children first. A math teacher who goes outside the classroom to provide students with real-world scenarios every year without tire is a hero because he or she has demonstrated the value of mathematics education in relation to global business. These individuals serve as role models for others to emulate. A principal should always be viewed as a hero in the school. He or she is the instructional leaders, curriculum advisors, discipline provider, mentor, coach, and community facilitator. The hero or heroine can be any member of the school, from the student, to the teacher, and even forces outside the school who have an interest in the values, beliefs, and attributes related to the success of the organization. (Chris Ambrosius)
Deal, T. E., & Peterson, K. D. (2009). Shaping school culture: Pitfalls, paradoxes and promises (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

(Angela Destro) A school using the symbolic frame will focus attention on culture, meaning, belief, and faith in order to cultivate commitment and loyalty (Bolman & Deal, 2010). In these schools, the heroes and heroines are often those people who maintain the symbolic focus. In Pico School, Margaret Juhl was a symbolic frame heroine. She exemplified what Pico School stood for, and when she died, the outpouring of love and appreciation was more than enough proof of her value to the life of the school.
Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2010). Reframing the path to school leadership (2nd ed.). Retrieved from the University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.

The heroes and heroines of a school using this frame are the ones who embrace culture and celebrate rituals and ceremonies. The people who participate in activities involving the students both during and after-school hours. The ones who lead the ceremonies or celebration and who carry on the legacy of the school. At our school we have many people who have created and carry on special celebrations for the school and each one is a hero or heroine. The guidance counselor has started many successful programs to get children involved and raise community awareness. One such program is raising money for St. Judes hospital. This ritual takes place every year and the students enjoy participating in it. The ESOL teacher hosts and international dinner each year that brings families together to share their culture with one another and the school. (Stacie Vernor)


The heroes and heroines of a school are people who lead the school. They are the ones who provide inspiration to others and motivate others to achieve their goals. These people help shape the school culture (Deal & Peterson, 2010). These people help provide direction, meaning, and provide hope if the occasion calls for it. These people keep the culture alive and functioning too. This could be an administrator, a student, a teacher, a secretary or a counselor. In Pico School, there were several heroes and heroines mentioned like Phyllis Gleason, Margaret Juhl, and Joan Hilliard. They worked to maintain a positive culture at Pico School. (Heather Gianfagna)
Deal, T. E., & Peterson, K. D. (2009). Shaping school culture: Pitfalls, paradoxes and promises (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

A hero or heroine is someone who, as Deal and Peterson (2009) refer to, others aspire to be like. They help create and maintain traditions that become part of the symbolic culture of a building. These individuals keep traditions alive that others might feel are no longer needed but without them would cause a staff to lose a piece of themselves and their identities. Our P.E. teacher gives out hand-stitched quilts at major celebrations such as retirements, baby showers, and engagements. These are a symbol of the community. We are all pieces of the quilt, we have unique gifts and talents who by themselves are not that outstanding, but together are quite beautiful and functional. Such people need to exist in our schools today to keep us grounded in who we are and where we came from. (Jamie J. Steele)

Deal, T. E., & Peterson, K. D. (2009). Shaping school culture: Pitfalls, paradoxes and promises (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

(Laura Welser) According to Deal and Peterson, a hero or heroin pushes for everyone to be better, uphold the values of the organization, and serve as a role model for others. A hero or heroin at the last school that I worked at was Ms. R, she upheld the christian values of the school and served as an excellent role model for everyone teachers and students. An excellent example of a heroine from the Pico school is Margaret Juhl (Bolman &Deal). Everyone loved her, she was and excellent leader and others could look to her for guidance.

References:
Deal, T. E., & Peterson, K. D. (2009). Shaping school culture: Pitfalls, paradoxes and promises (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2010). Reframing the path to school leadership (2nd ed.). Retrieved from the University of Phoenix eBook Collection database

(Laurie Murphy) The heroes and heroines at my school using this frame are not necessarily the people with the most administrative power or most certifications on their license. A select handful of teachers and a few devoted other staff members are the heroes and heroines. They carry on positive traditions and rituals at the school. These also happen to be people that have been with the school for a number of years. An example is the cafeteria manager. She is known for her quirky menu layouts and health tips. Even the students that bring their lunch from home can’t wait to see what new theme and humor the next menu has. She even will randomly decorate the lunch line!


The principal of my school is the hero of this frame. He inspires staff and students to live up to the meaning of the school's mission and vision. He expects teachers to understand the life circumstances of their students, how they differ from their own, and to educate them in spite of the differences. He expects 21st skills taught and he is a member of a cohort of teachers and administrators who are learning about how to implement 21st learning skills. He expects teachers to infuse rigor in their instruction. He promotes this by providing as much professional development as he can afford. He expects that students will receive the foundation they need. Teachers pull small groups of students to fill in any gaps and move them forward. (Sarah Boucher)




What are examples of ceremonies and rituals that are common to school?


My school has various ceremonies and rituals based on being an early childhood center. I have worked at my center since June and am beginning to see the rituals and ceremonies. Pride in the school is shown through various rituals. Recently my school had an end of the summer bash with events and families invited. The school has a bash at the end of every season to bring families and staff together for a common purpose, the students. The bash incorporates the values of my center and emphasizes how the center is a family organization. (Jill Demaree)

It is through the ceremonies, traditions, norms, and atmosphere of an environment that a culture is defined and perceived. These rituals strengthen motivation and relationships by sharing a common purpose (Bolman & Deal, 2010). Every school has traditions and rituals that are according to the school culture, but a common ritual that is shared amongst most schools is; homecoming. The specific rituals to celebrate homecoming are different from school to school, but typically involve; a dance, a homecoming court, pep rally, spirit week, and of course the football game and homecoming ceremony. This is time for the school community to come together and celebrate their culture with pride. This time of year is in the crisp of fall when the journey of the school year is becoming more routine and comfortable. This event ignites motivation in the school community by spreading good vibes and pumping up the spirit of belonging. (Lisa Horoszewski)


Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2010). Reframing the path to school leadership (2nd ed.).Retrieved from the University of Phoenix eBook Collection database

(David W. Adkins) Some of the ceremonies and rituals that are common to school are the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, daily announcements, pep rallies, school dances such as homecoming, sadie hawkins, etc; graduations are another ceremony that, for the most part, are the first significant emotional event for the students. Wearing class rings is also a ritual/ tradition that many schools encourage. In the military, parades and formations are cermonies that occur, usually on a quarterly basis. Military ceremonies and rituals are a bit different than those that might occur in a civilian school; these traditions have been around since the beginning of the military.

Ceremonies and rituals shape a schools existence. The provide meaning and purpose to the schools culture. Some rituals schools indulge may be the founding of clubs or organizations that provide special purpose to the academics of organizations, one ritual in my classroom is the reading of the quote of the day and a short 1-2 minute discussion on what the quote means to the students. Other rituals involve the passing of students from their junior year to the final year of high school as a senior. The raising of the school flag each morning signifies the school is open for business and the lowering of the school flags signifies another productive day of educating students. Ceremonies common to schools involve welcoming freshman into their final stages of k-12 education. The ceremony is mainly conducted during an orientation evening with the community and parent involvement. Quarterly awards ceremonies and senior commencement are other examples. Ceremonies are venues that allow the celebration of individual or group accomplishments and aid in the improvement of school culture, Deal and Peterson (2009). (Chris Ambrosius)
Deal, T. E., & Peterson, K. D. (2009). Shaping school culture: Pitfalls, paradoxes and promises (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

(Angela Destro) Without ritual and ceremony at the right moments, a school can become dull and lifeless, and may even become a toxic environment (Bolman & Deal, 2010). As part of improving their school, Pico School implemented a number of ceremonies that were destined to become tradition. Although it began as a way to allow the faculty to say good-bye to a former principal, the end-of-year ceremony designed by Phyllis Gleason (Bolman & Deal, 2010) was destined to become an annual ceremony since it also included a celebration of events from the current year that was ending. In addition, the school added an opening day ceremony following fall. Designed to recognize the life changing work of dedicated teachers, it was ordained to be an even stronger annual ceremony as it incorporated teachers and students from Pico’s past, community members, and possibly even a community business who may have donated the crystal apples with the teacher names etched on them.
Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2010). Reframing the path to school leadership (2nd ed.). Retrieved from the University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.

According to Bolman and Deal (2010), ceremonies, rituals, and celebrations bring people in a school together and give a sense of purpose. Some common rituals in schools include saying the Pledge of Allegiance in the morning, pep rallies before special events to get everyone excited, assemblies, and the way people move throughout the building. Any elementary school you walk into, the children walk in a line to get from place to place. Often there is a line leader showing the way to the rest of the class. These rituals make all students feel connected to the way things are supposed to be done and the process bring order to the building. (Stacie Vernor)
Bolman, L.G., & Deal, T.E. (2010). Reframing the path to school leadership (2nd ed.). Retrieved from the University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.

Ceremonies and celebrations provide meaning to life in a school and help build purpose and direction for students, teachers and schools. Some ceremonies are very important to the success of a school. Recognition gives people a sense of belonging and it is important to have meaning and purpose. Some ceremonies may be more elaborate than others but any recognition of teacher increases in education, marriages, births, celebratory parites like an end of the year gathering, or even student-centered celebrations such as student of the month, honor roll, all A’s, or VIP selections. These are all celebrated occassions at my school. (Heather Gianfagna)

There are only a few ceremonies or rituals that are common at our school. The preschool class has a birthday march for each child when it is their birthday. The class is given instruments and they have a birthday chant they sing as they walk the halls of the school. The birthday child is held high on the shoulders of the teachers. The school also celebrates the birthday of the school. They have a party each year on the school's birthday. This year it has a carnival theme. There is an end of the year party for each class where all parents are invited to see presentations from the students. The last thing that the school does is has a Thanksgiving lunch for parents. The school does not do many rituals that most school do such as the Pledge of Allegiance. (Danielle Hunt)


(Jasmin Owsley) Two examples of ceremonies that are common to the school environment are Red Ribbon Week and the Remembering September 11th Ceremony. Red Ribbon Week is a weeklong awareness campaign that focuses on alcohol, tobacco, and violence prevention. Students write essays, guest speakers present information and parents participate in activities. The Remembering September 11th Ceremony is a tribute to our nation and our nation’s heroes (Bolman & Deal, 2010). It is a once a year event that is poignant and meaningful. It is also a great time of reflection and reading age appropriate biographies. A common ritual at school is daily bell work and daily agendas and conducting fire drills.

(Laura Welser) There are lots of ceremonies and rituals that take place at my daughters school. One ritual that they have is Polar Express day. Students wear pajamas to school, the principal reads the book to the school over the school television channel, and Santa comes to the school to visit all the students. Another ritual at the school is the GO Green Bazaar. Each class chooses an item to make that can be made from recycled materials. The class then makes a bunch of the item the class chose to sell at the Bazaar. It is a really fun event and students have a blast and they learn all about recycling and up-cycling. One celebration that the school has is the first Friday of every month they have a birthday table for students celebrating their birthday in that month. Students get to sit at the table , they get a cup cake, huge sticker and a birthday pencil. Ceremonies and traditions are an important part of a schools culture.


Examples of ceremonies and rituals that are common to schools are; the flag salute, kindergarten graduation, birthday celebrations, Halloween parades, and tricky trays. Ceremonies and rituals that are common in my district include those mentioned as well as, a book swap, cultural night, bingo night, and a talent show. These rituals help the school community to build relationships with the surrounding community. Some of these events sell tickets made available to everyone. This helps the school receive funds to assist in continuing these rituals. Help from the members of the school is voluntary during many of these. (Christine Arthur)



According to Deal and Peterson (2009) ceremonies allow individuals to celebrate their accomplishments and communicate their values. This common bonding creates rituals and a shared experience. The beginning of the year includes getting to know your teacher and your classmates,back to school shopping, picture days. All these things create a sense of security and normality for the students that need such stability in their lives. School itself is a ceremony for some of these students we work with. After a summer full of no schedule it is a sense of relief when they enter those familiar doors and walk through the halls to their classrooms. (Jamie J. Steele)


Deal, T. E., & Peterson, K. D. (2009). Shaping school culture: Pitfalls, paradoxes and promises (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass


(Laurie Murphy) To avoid becoming lifeless and sterile, an organization needs rituals and ceremonies at appropriate moments (Bolman and Deal, 2010). One common tradition at many (elementary) schools is having a spree day and/or field day at the end of the school year. This ends the school on a positive note and allows the students and staff to release any built up stress and wrap up another school year. Another example is awards ceremonies for students. Students get to be recognized for various achievements and their morale is boosted in the meantime. Although we do not currently have it, I would suggest that the teachers do the same. There can be elements of humor in it and can be done with or without the student body present.
Reference:

Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2010). Reframing the path to school leadership (2nd ed.). Retrieved from the University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.


The quarterly awards assemblies are big at my school. It is a time for recognizing students, parents, and teachers for the wonderful job they did that quarter. Parents who can take off work come to cheer for their student. Students are praised for their triumphs and bolstered to do great work in the future. The principal calls students' names to come up to the stage to receive their award(s) for perfect attendance, academic achievement, behavior, most improved, and effort. Students line up on the stage to be recognized and hold up their awards. Students have time to hug parents if they are in the audience. I share my pride in my students. We go back to the classroom and I mention that if a student didn't receive an award, that there is another quarter to improve and receive one. (Sarah Boucher)