As the half way point of our year approaches I think it is important as teachers we have a refocus time for our students.
Recently, I attended a Leader in Me Symposium where they discussed the value of having students using key habits and principals in the classroom in order to have an organized and driven life outside the classroom.
One of the suggestions that came out of the symposium was to create a class mission statement. Now, I had heard of class mission statements before; however, I had never implemented one in my classroom. The more I heard about the value of having all students on the same page and driving towards the same common goal, the more I wanted to implement it myself. Especially because I knew my students needed a ‘mid point reminder’ and extra push to get them to the end of the year.
This week the first class I did with my students was a mission statement creation. I took 2 blocks out of my day to dedicate to goal setting as a class- and it turned out AWESOME.
Here are some steps I took to help my class create a team mission statement.
- As a class we brainstormed what a mission is. I asked the students questions like: “what comes to mind when you hear the word mission”, “who does mission remind you of”, “who that you know has been on a mission”. I loved the words and discussion that came out of those prompts.
Essentially the students came out with 2 separate streams. The first were qualities of a mission which included words like ambition, goals, danger, risk, success, motivation. And the second was people who they know who have missions like 007, mission impossible, batman, inspector gadget.
Then we talked about how all those individuals encompassed the qualities that were necessary to carry on a mission and I told the students that we needed a mission of our own to be our own 8R 007.
- Then, in their groups I gave them large paper and 4 questions that they needed to answer as a class.
-Who are we?
-Why are we here?
-What do we want to accomplish?
-How will we make this happen?
As a class I gave them 5 minutes to answer each question in their groups. It was so incredible to see the team work and answers they came up with!
- After that, I posted all the papers on the board, we went through each question and found the similarities that the groups came up with.
- The groups then went back into collaboration mode and I challenged each group to come up with 4 words that described the answers that we found as a class. The 4 words had to describe the 4 most important things that they felt needed to be a part of our mission.
- Then I took all the words that the groups came up with and created a word cloud. This was now the new mission of 8R. I posted it on the wall in my classroom for everyone to see everyday, as a reminder of what is important for our class.
I loved this activity because it brought my class together to refocus on the goals for the rest of the year. It also reminded them of their purpose in grade 8 and both what they wanted to accomplish individually and together.
If you have not created a mission for you classroom or school, I highly recommend doing it. It is a simple reminder to students where we are moving as a class and what they are expected to contribute in and outside of the classroom.
If you have any other strategies for mission statement let me know!