Catholic School Matters
May 17, 2020
Tell Your Story
When people look back on this spring, what will they say about your school? Will they say you innovated? Kept learning? Persisted? Failed?
It’s not too late to start shaping your story. Take a look at the Partnership Schools blog. They made a conscientious decision to start pushing out their story consistently every day once the pandemic hit. You’ll see thought pieces, features on outstanding students and teachers, and testimonials.
You probably have a slew of testimonials sitting in your inbox—parents thanking you for taking care of their children, teachers thanking you for taking care of them, students grateful that they’ve been able to connect with each other and keep learning. Don’t just file those away. Publish them!
If we don’t the narrative will be something like “We’re all exhausted, we want to go back to the way things were, hope we don’t have to do this again.” That’s the May educator, speaking out of the fatigue and the frustrations that have built up over the course of the year. This is a critical time when families are deciding whether to re-register and even currently re-registered families are beginning to question their commitment. We need to cement their commitments by telling our stories.
How have you innovated? What lessons have you learned? Who has really shone? What are the good things that are happening? How? Ask your parents to send them in, or have them tweet about their experience (a new hashtag? #catholicschoolgoodnews?) or use whatever social media channel. And then you can retweet or share. Testify!
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Dr. Tim Uhl
This edition of Catholic School Matters is sponsored by the Institute for School and Parish Development (ISPD), a national development consulting firm founded in 1989; ISPD works exclusively with Catholic schools, parishes, and dioceses. In partnership with the University of Dayton, the Institute for School and Parish Development (ISPD) will be offering three new on-line summer courses beginning the week of June 15, 2020. Titled ISPD Summer Institute, 2020, each course will award Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and a Certificate of Completion from the university. Students not interested in the above are invited to audit any one or more of the courses. The three courses are:
- Moving Your Catholic School Forward NOW: How to Create a Plan of Action to Face COVID-19 Challenges through People Engagement
- Moving Your Catholic Parish Forward NOW: How to Create a Plan of Action to Face COVID-19 Challenges through People Engagement
- 15 More Lessons Learned in 30+ Years in Catholic School Development: Moving Forward with Valuable Operational Vitality Lessons Midst the Challenges of COVID-19
For Your Reflection
Catholic Schools Closing & Opening
I've created a new curated list of resources for professional learning on technology, on remote learning as well as resources for teacher and parents.
What I'm Reading
The Last 5 Books:
- Beyond Obedience and Abandonment: Toward a Theory of Dissent in Catholic Education (2012) by Graham P. McDonough
How to Live: What the Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning, and Community (2018) by Judith Valente
Evolving Learner: Shifting from Professional Development to Professional Learning (2020) by Lainie Rowell, Kristy Andre, and Lauren Steinmann
Public & Private High Schools: The Impact of Communities (1987) by James S. Coleman and Thomas Hoffa
The Practical Prophet: Pastoral Writings (2007) by Ken Untener
Click this link for a full list of my professional reading