Commentary... What is your mission statement?
Last updated 8/9/2022 at Noon
In preparing a presentation about the Sisters School District and what the school board on which I serve does, I started off with our mission statement: “An education community that creates belonging prepares and inspires.”
A few days later I was reminded of the words from another school. This one is private and located in Oakland, California. Their words describe their school as a place that promotes “scholarship, diversity, and citizenship.”
I am also serving on the board of the High Desert Education District. Their statement directs them to “improve student outcomes with excellence, equity, and efficiency.” And I am a long-time member of the Together for Children not-for-profit. Their statement says that they “enhance the lives of children by strengthening families, through parent education, parent/child interaction, and community support.”
The more I thought about these words, I realized their potency. Each is focused on similar aspects of our society — education and children. You may notice that only one mentions the words education and children; however, we know that is their focal point. In all four, their mission fits the community they represent with specific direction as how to engage with that community.
All these statements start with a verb. Even though what follows is usually emphasized, that verb at the beginning is what’s most important. When you look at the words Creates, Improve, Promotes, and Enhance, you hear why the organization exists. What follows is the means as to how they will get there.
This is the power of a mission statement, whether written down or just internally adopted. It directs everything you do. I see this in every report given at a school board meeting by the administrators, teachers, or students when they share what is happening in their building. They consciously start by pointing out where it fits in with the mission statement.
If you are a parent, what would be the mission statement for your family?
Mine and my husband’s turned out to be the title of my first book, “Raising Kids with Love, Honor, and Respect.” That is what we strived to do. However, it was only by consciously keeping it in mind that we could proudly say it was achieved.
If you haven’t discussed this with your parenting partner, please do. It will make a huge difference in how you regard your job as a parent. Being a parent is not only one of the most difficult jobs you will ever do, it is the most important job you will do.
When people receive my emails, they always get the message at the end that says, “Your children’s future depends on the parenting of today.” I strongly believe this. Your kids deserve the best beginning you can give them. By figuring out how to do this, no matter your life circumstances, you will be on the right path to achieve your mission, no matter the mistakes you make (and you will).
Note: Edie Jones’s book, “Raising Kids with Love, Honor, and Respect: Recipes for Success,” will soon be available as a second edition with a chapter on the pandemic and ideas on how to help your child grow in spite of the setbacks that occurred over the past two years.