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Vision Mission Values Series: Mission

classroom management commitment education consultant educational leadership educational leadership programs keynote speaker leaders in education leadership coaching leadership for educational equity leadership styles in education mission professional development public speaking sel social emotional learning stand tall steve steve bollar vision Oct 14, 2023

Check out the first podcast in this series, Vision. Be sure to tune in to the final episode of this series on Values on November 1. 

It's your friendly guide and Global Guru in Education, Stand Tall Steve Bollar, back with another dose of wisdom and inspiration. Today, we're diving headfirst into the world of educational missions. Be sure to listen to the podcast and hear my thoughts on the meaning of mission in educational leadership, what makes a successful mission, and why school mission statements are so important.


How would you define a mission?

“A goal is something that you work on, while a vision is something that works on you.” 

-Willie Jollie

In the realm of educational leadership, a mission is more than just a statement; it's the heartbeat of your organization’s purpose and objectives. A mission is a guiding star that illuminates the path toward your school's or organization's purpose and goals, and it keeps you and your entire staff and community focused on what truly matters in the world of education. A successful mission is clear, inspiring, aligned with your values, and measurable.

The mission is the daily roll-up-your-sleeves work. It includes the daily ongoings within the organization, buildings, and classroom. Keeping the vision in mind takes you closer to organizational success. But in order to have a successful mission, you need guiding questions and reflection.  



How do you reflect on your mission?

Reflecting on your mission is like gazing at a compass before embarking on a grand adventure. Gang, I can’t help it. I will always be a Boy Scout! It's essential to periodically pause, take stock, and reflect to ensure you're on the right course. Of all my leadership experiences and trainings, I have brought it down to these core reflection questions.  

  • What do we do?
    This is the basic function of your organization or school. This is the service of your organization and the product or outcome.  When it comes to school, what we do is the most important job in the world! Simply stated, we are educating children. 
  • How do we do it?
    This question delves into your methods and strategies to fulfill your mission. It is the procedures, systems in place, and goals for achievement.  This includes all those policies that need committees! Most importantly, it includes relationship building (more on that below).  It's the roadmap detailing the actions to take to bring your mission to life.

  • Whom do we do it for?
    Identifying your audience is crucial. Educational professionals always know the answer: it's the kids.  Your mission should clarify who benefits from your efforts, whether it's students, parents, the community, or a combination of stakeholders.

“We are making little people better little people.” -Darren Peppard

  • What value are we bringing?
    Your mission should emphasize the unique value you offer to your educational community. It's the promise of what sets you apart. Stand Tall Leaders know what you respect and value within the school needs to be clearly stated and understood by everyone. Core values should drive bringing in high-quality educators, a strong curriculum, and a variety of instructional methods and strategies to meet the needs of the students.

  • Why?
    Educators, don’t roll your eyes! Hear me out on this one. Too often, you are in a situation where you are redirected or deflected and told to think of your “why” as the reason you got into education.   But gang, it is so much more than that.  Your why is your mission.  It keeps you going! It is our fundamental purpose, the reason for doing what we do each day.


School Mission Statements

As I discuss in Stand Tall Leadership, what you respect and value within the school must be clearly stated and understood by everyone. That does not always happen.  Many schools have mission statements or vision statements.  These statements are supposed to ground everyone around a shared understanding of what is expected and held as the standards within the school district.  

How many can actually recite the mission or vision statement? Who knows what it is? Who knows what it means? 

Don’t get me wrong, I believe you must have a vision or mission statement that clearly states what you respect and value.  A vision or mission statement can do that.  You just need to make sure it directly connects with what your organization respects, values, and the questions outlined above.  Make them quick, easy, sensible statements with four to five items that are clear and what is truly respected. Announce it at your “State of the Union” style meetings the first days of school, repeat, and reinforce it ALL year long! 

Stand TALL, my friends, and let your mission lead you to greater heights in education! I travel all over the world, helping schools and organizations improve. If you or your organization needs help with mission, defining what you respect and value, or just better professional development, let’s connect!  Contact me at [email protected]


10-Minute Classroom Openers


A Game-Changer for Fostering Classroom Relationships and Positive Learning Environments 

10-Minute Classroom Openers is a must-have resource for teachers, whether you're a seasoned educator or just starting your teaching journey. For those of you familiar with Stand Tall Leadership, you know how important it is for schools to have a positive climate and culture. 

This book is a game-changer, offering a collection of 150 quick, engaging activities designed to kickstart each day with a burst of positivity and connection.  Everyone in education can benefit from this resource for their Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programs. 

The best part of this book to implement SEL in your classroom? There is zero prep needed.  ALL you need is this book and five to ten minutes!

Here’s your prep-free activity for kindergarten to fifth-grade students to open up your next class or morning meeting. 

What would you do Wednesday?

  • If you could be principal of the school for one day, what would you do?
  • If you were at the store with your friend and saw them steal, what would you do?
  • If you found a $100 bill in the Target parking lot, wwyd?
  • If you notice a new student sitting alone at lunch, wwyd?
  • If you could cheat on a test and not get caught, wwyd?

 If you like these, you’ll LOVE the book! Order yours today!


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