Institutions such as schools should have cultures, which aims at integrating the community together. Honoring heroes and heroines creates a sense of partnership in institutions like schools. The heroines and heroes can be used as icons and idols to be emulated by the entire society and school fraternity. Honoring this people creates a sense of belonging. It also creates an attachment as this people appreciate and constantly would love to be associated with their former institutions.
Ceremonies and rituals within an institution are important. Every school has its own celebrations in its academic calendar. The celebrations and rituals aim at evaluating the progress of the school while at the same time creates accountability to parents and other stakeholders of the school. Rituals and celebrations play a big role in creating culture in the school while at the same time propagating good relationship within the school community
Part I: Symbolic Frame Wiki
To what degree are the mission and vision statements employed?
A schools mission and vision statement are symbolic statements to show the schools values and beliefs and provide meaning and direction. Deal and Peterson (2009) discuss how people need a mission and a purpose to connect with the schools goals. To what degree mission and vision statements are employed depend on what meaning they provide to the school. If these statements are a medium that provide that emotional connection for why a school operates, then it will be evident in the culture of the school. Most likely, these statements will be implemented in the daily operations of a school and the staff and students will know what the schools values are. My schools mission and vision statements are reviewed regularly to remind us as a staff what we are doing and why we are doing it
Who are the heroes or heroines of a school using this frame and why?
The heroes and heroines within the symbolic frame are all of those that make the organization part of who they are. The take pride in what they do and of the organization they belong to. They are teachers, administrators, custodians, lunch people, students, and parents. They mark the school and others around them in a positive manner. They are seen as a school symbol that reflects the good of the school and all positive change to come.
What are examples of ceremonies and rituals that are common to schools?
Most schools have common ceremonies and rituals that take place at different times throughout the year. Some ceremonies and rituals that are common in most schools are: Beginning and end of the school year, various student awards, Grandparents Day, teacher and employee of the year, school personnel retirement, teacher and staff appreciation week, and volunteer appreciation. Some more informal celebrations are: Birthdays, pregnancies, and weddings. At Pico School, two major ceremonies took place. These were “Fiesta de Pico” and “I’m Just a Great Teacher” (Bolman & Deal, 2010, pp. 101-105).
Rituals and ceremonies give continuity to an enjoyable atmosphere around schools. This continuity allows school members to understand how valuable is the school history and how significant are the members of the school. At my school we have quarterly rewards for those students who have achieved their Student Learning Expectations. We also have “Caught Doing Good” assemblies for those students who do receive a discipline infraction for the quarter.
The student council holds monthly rallies that may be tied into sports, or holidays or Catholic Schools week. Our school starts off every morning with a ritual of a school wide Morning Prayer assembly. We all gather in the courtyard for prayers, songs and announcements. It really gives everyone the feeling that we are a family. I believe that all of these rituals help the students and staff realizes that they are a part of something very special.
Part II: Reflection
My personal level of strength within the symbolic frame is fairly strong. I have been a teacher at this small catholic school now for 9 years. When I was hired by the previous teacher, it was only to for a term on one year. However, I fell in love with the school, the students, and I became very close with most of the staff. It became another family to me, one that I have cherished over the years. I stand behind the faith and values of the school, as it is the same faith and values that my husband and I have instilled in our own children.
In my nine years as a teacher at this school, I can look back and see how much I have grown in knowledge, teaching techniques, faith, and accomplishments. I am a lifelong learner, which is why I have committed to peruse and achieve my masters’ degrees. I am facilitating my personal growth by achieving and completing this degree in teacher leadership. As a teacher leader, I will be able to share new and fresh ideas, technology, and education to help our school produce students who can be 21st century learners, who can be successful and become productive in society.
I always tell my students that good things happen to good people. I think I can be a prophet at my school by continuing to grow as a teacher leader and be an uplifting force in my school. I believe if you pat kindness and goodness forward, it will come back to you tenfold. Standing by, believing in, and teaching the faith and values that our school stands for, that makes me a prophet within the symbolic frame.
I have experienced both benefits and challenges within the symbolic frame. I am thankful that the benefits outweigh the challenges. Some of the benefits I reap daily are the love and friendship that I have with the students and staff at school. It truly is another family. Not only have I grown personally, but professionally as well. I have also grown in my faith, as I see it through my third graders. I have grown to appreciate everything more dearly.
There have been a few challenges. I think one is that at times I have become too trusting of certain people and was taken advantage of. I learned the hard way that some people are not what they seem and their outward appearances are false symbols of who they really are, not to be trusted.
The symbolic frame wiki has made me realize that there are a few things at my school that I take for granted. We do so many rituals and ceremonies, that I sometimes forget about the importance of them. As I read other posts, I realize that I belong to a special school that does awesome things to celebrate the faith, values, and morals that the school is founded upon. I am going to make sure that my students know how lucky they are to also be a part of the school. I want them to know that many schools aren’t able to do many of the rituals and celebrations we have created. I hope to be a part of its legacy for many years to come.
In conclusion, the mission and the vision statements reflect on the cultures of an institution. They also create a clear perspective of what goes on in the institution. The cultures created within the institutions also shows the objectives to be achieved. Celebrations within the school create a sense of attachment and belonging within the society. Participating members develops a sense of security and this gives them a chance to be responsible for the actions taken in the institution.