Core Value(s)

Come August I will be leading the maths department at North Berwick High School.  In preparation for this,  I am reflecting upon what my core values really are.  I have just begun this process,  but already one value stands out very clearly:

Every young person coming into our department should be valued, respected and nurtured by us unconditionally.

The value I am seeking to describe here is crystal clear to me.  Whether or not the phrase in bold captures it clearly for others is another matter!

I am not trying to be innovative here.  I am sure that this value is held dear by almost every teacher, and has been written about at length by many others more eloquent than I (read Don Ledingham on "unconditional positive regard" for example).  I am simply trying to express as clearly as I can what it is that sits at the heart of my passion for teaching.

For me this is about how we behave towards the young people in our department, not just how we think or feel.  In fact it is sometimes necessary for us to behave in accordance with this value despite the way we are thinking or feeling.

Lest anyone think that there is anything weak or soft about this value, I should finish by emphasising that we fail to value, respect and nurture our students unless we demand the very highest standards of behaviour, mutual respect and personal effort from them.


  1. That last paragraph sounds like a condition!?! ;)

  2. I don't see it as a condition. We demand high standards of youngsters because we value them. It's not that we only value them if they meet the high standards we set.


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