Navin Elementary principal Lynette Lewis has five rules for her staff:
- Love your kids.
- Love them even more when they are difficult.
- Love them the most when they push you away.
- Every child that walks through our doors belongs to everyone.
- Every child deserves your very best, every day.
“I believe kids work better for people that they care about,” insists Lewis, who has served as the principal of Navin Elementary in Marysville, Ohio for eight years. “When they’re here, students need to feel safe, protected and loved. That relationship is what helps them feel confident to do their very best work at school.”
Lewis includes her five rules in every memo that she sends to her staff, and encourages them to regard every child in the school as “their” child, whether “they’re in your class, in your lunch duty period, or you’re helping them get on the bus at the end of the school day.” Every teacher is empowered to work with a child to help them manage behaviors, and to provide positive reinforcement, from the classroom to the lunchroom to the playground and everywhere in between.
And the five rules are essential for Marysville School District’s recent shift to personalized learning through competency-based education. Taking the time to get to know each and every child and providing them the resources and opportunities they need to succeed, really focusing on building relationships, is critical.
According to Lewis, “when you’re personalizing learning and creating student-centered classrooms, that’s what puts them at the center: loving them and helping them to grow.”