Ways to create a good culture of excellence is a blueprint to a success story in organisations.
These are the steps we have put in place to start creating this culture of excellence:
- Raise Your Standard High
First and foremost, one should have a clear-cut understanding of what excellence is about without the exception of the proper comprehension of the concept of excellence such as asking questions like: What can an excellent SS3 science student do? What are your expectations of the quality of work done by a student from SS1 Art Class? In a school, it is a good culture to imbibe when introducing a checklist that points out to the students what is expected of them according to their levels and individual capabilities. This simply shows what tasks is required of them and how they are expected to carry out the duties. Therefore, this can be used to give a lay-out for learning and creating organisers of knowledge for the students to make use of even at home. This first step indicates that the school has a proper plan for the purpose of subject and considering the best it has to offer.
In school events, we see it as a good opportunity to showcase the excellent creations of our students and also keep them in our resource centre for future reasons such as advertisement and recognition of excellence.
These learning checklists and knowledge organisers also serve as learning guides in the process of learning, putting the students on track to produce better results. Also, these guides who are experts in their distinctive areas of profession serve as role models for the students to follow as they are trained how and what to do.
Read: 9 Tips for Growing a Successful Business
Secondly, mentoring is important. This can also be referred to as “Lead the way.” Once the expectations have been set, the need to mentor the students what and how they are expected out the tasks is also significant. The input, process and output are three important and delicate levels of production. There is the need to expatiate subject/area of concern to them basically. When these three factors are put into consideration, there will be a good outcome thereby increasing the level of productivity.
One of the most powerful ways to support a culture of excellence is through live modeling, where the teacher answers a question themselves and explains their thought process in front of the class. The technique can be adapted so that a piece of work is produced as a class and developed through carefully planned questioning.
One group has been focusing on the use of academic language in discussions to show the standards expected. Complex, subject-specific words are used with their meanings added as an aside. Pupils are challenged on the use of colloquial words in their answers to questions and asked to respond more formally.
3. Is it Excellent yet?
The need to ask oneself the question “Is it excellent yet?” is relevant. This serves as an opportunity to assess one’s performance at every stage of achievement. This stage improves individual performance as well as collective performance, leading to self-development for each one. Over the years, I am sure I have accepted any amount of sub-standard work. There has often been an attitude – from pupils and teachers alike – that work just needs to be done. Now, students have started asking: “Is this excellent yet?” There is now an expectation that work isn’t finished until it is excellent, that proof reading and redrafting should be the norm, and that students will do this before handing in work. Following the saying that goes like this, “anything worth doing is worth doing perfectly well.”
- Taking it Further
It is a good and positive culture to imbibe the habit of encouraging students to take their education seriously as it is a privilege to be present in the four walls of a learning environment-school, as it is called. The need to be willing to work beyond the four walls of a classroom is also a good culture of learning as their performance is not limited within the school premises. At schools with high standards, it is a necessary requirement for all students before graduation to participate in additional research to support what they have learned in class giving them an edge over others experience-wise.
By Oladokun Folasade Mabel (OFM)