Family Focus & The Uns.

August 13th 2017

Has your school caught a case of the “uns”? Society in general hears a lot about education. We are told frequently how important it is for every child to have access to a sound education. We are all reminded of the need for government support and funding to ensure our society is intelligent, capable and skilled. We also hear of teacher capabilities, classroom stresses, student issues, curriculum changes etc. etc. etc. Yep, education is a popular rhetoric, from the informal chats you have with friends about which school to choose through to the halls of Parliament and the formal debates about what is, or isn’t appropriate subject matter, we all have an opinion on education. And, why not? Education is a topic we can all profess, albeit very cheekily, to be subject matter experts on! We have all engaged in schooling of some form or another throughout our lives. But, does personal experience, bystander positioning and even vague external contact really allow an appreciation of just how valuable education is to our community?

Often people can be heard bemoaning the terrible experiences they have suffered whilst undertaking their learning. The uselessness of a highly bureaucratic system and the testing focused models that now exist. Even the once coveted tertiary educational streams can be heard to be of little use in industry application or job seeking. Are these claims real? How can we damn something so critical to our children’s future successes? Here at Family Focus we know that often these catchcries and by-lines are simply examples of how easily education and educational discourse can catch a bad case of the “uns”?

Family Focus Consultancy work with school communities. Through our workshops and advocacy, we aim to improve whole school engagement whilst supporting teachers to accomplish their NESA accredited professional standard rating. We here at Family Focus see the “uns” a lot. In fact, back in the day when we were volunteering in schools we noted that a terrible plague of the “uns” could just about ruin a school, a teacher, a parent relationship with the school and, most worryingly a child’s ability to succeed. The “uns” were one of the reasons we decided to work with schools formally in a recognised professional capacity. Family Focus like to cure and help prevent the “uns”.

So, how do you know if your school has caught a dose? Well Family Focus have made up an ‘Uns Self-Diagnosis Test’, feel free to take it now;

Think about your school environment. Do any of your staff feel undervalued, undermined, unrecognised, uncertain, unchartered, unfulfilled or unsuccessful in relation to their peers, their classroom practices or their personal development? Have any of your parents ever expressed that the school makes them feel unconvinced, unwelcome, uninvited, uninvolved, unhappy, uninformed, unimpressed or unfamiliar? And, check with the students, put the words uninspired, unheard, unsure, unwanted, unchallenged, unengaged and undirected before them. See if they relate any of them to their current educational experience. Now for the results. If you or your school community responds yes to any of the “uns” be alert. It is very likely that you have an outbreak of the “uns” happening right now. And when tallying your “un” score please keep in mind that the lists aren’t mutually exclusive to the school community member type. Teachers can just as easily feel unwelcome in a school as parents feel unsuccessful as students feel undervalued. Did you pass the self-diagnosis test? Were you brave enough to be honest with yourself? It is important when looking internally to take an unbiased look at your school community.

Didn’t pass? Don’t worry, Family Focus Consultancy has good news for anyone who find they have a case of the “uns” bearing down on them. The fix is easier than you think. Truly! High levels of dissatisfaction, poor morale, an absence of shared vision and community disinterest are all well-known symptoms of the “uns” and can be cured. Yep, not kidding, one huge strategic dose of better commUNication will have an immediately regressive effect on the “uns”. Steps can also be made to improve the engagement and authentic contribution of all school community members, stimulate increased dialogue and realise community cohesiveness and UNity of goals. All of these “non-un” factors are found in healthy school communities. Schools with high levels of engagement, retention and success. Schools where teachers are always growing, developing and leading and students are enthusiastic to work towards achieving their very best for themselves. Schools where parents are engaged, active and supportive. Sounds good doesn’t it? Well, every school can be this type of learning environment. You just need to make the time to invest in understanding, discussing, learning and increasing your whole of community engagement.

Don’t be overwhelmed, Family Focus Consultancy can help get your dose of commUNication occurring. You and your team can sign up for one of our workshops or contact us to have us attend the school and work with as many people in your school community as possible. We all know what poor education looks like, how about giving that mindset a challenge and take on the “uns” today? Remember that golden proverb? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Organise your workshop with Family Focus Consultancy today because happy professionals, mobilised parents and accomplished students are worth investing in.