FISH! For Schools is a family of solutions, developed by educators, that help you create a remarkable school culture. It builds a community where the staff is supportive and passionate, students are caring and focused, and everyone is excited about learning.
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The FISH! For Schools Complete Pack includes everything you need to introduce and sustain The FISH! Philosophy. It comes with the original FISH! video, staff development videos (perfect for staff meetings or study groups) and classroom resources to help students live The FISH! Philosophy.
How has your school year been so far? Challenging? Rewarding? Frustrating? Maybe a bit of all three?
As you begin planning for next year, how can you make next year more successful and enjoyable? We asked longtime teacher and FISH! facilitator Steve Mintz, who has helped hundreds of schools build stronger cultures, for his thoughts:
“When I visit schools preparing for a new year, they’re mostly focused on technology, first aid training and so on—all important but functional tasks.
“But they are not as focused on how to make our school feel great for every student and staff member. That’s the foundation of everything we want to achieve.
Relationships are key
“Educators know they need the human element but so many demands push that aside. People talk about working ‘smarter, not harder.’ What they mean is ‘We have to do more and we don’t much time to do it.’ The danger is if those demands squash people’s spirits.
“As educators, we do what we do because we want to help students become capable, healthy people who take care of themselves and care about others.
“To do that, we need caring relationships with our students and colleagues. The cool thing is these relationships decrease the negative behaviors that happen when students and staff are not excited to be at school. When you get those behaviors out of the way, learning improves and all of our functional tasks are easier.
“The FISH! Philosophy helps us build and stay focused on the relationships that make a school feel welcoming.”
“I’ve observed when educators use a common language, they are more effective than that same group of excellent educators who are doing their own thing without a consistent language.
“Behavior expectations typically vary from teacher to teacher. Students often struggle to adapt to different environments when they don’t receive a positive, unified message about what we expect from each other. When there is a gray area, they don’t know what to do.
“I see great teachers who are doing a wonderful job teaching the subject but because of behavior, they’re miserable. The students are learning, but they could be learning more.”
“Educators know that relationships are primary. The FISH! Philosophy gives us a common language to talk about our relationships. We care for each other. We go out of our way to make each others’s day. We choose how we show up in the world. We’re going to be passionate and have fun with learning.
“If you ask the kids in my classroom what Be There means, they will tell you it’s about paying attention to and caring about the people you’re with. They may answer with different words but they all understand the essence. That makes a big difference in how we treat each other.
“When we have that common language to communicate that to students, our relationships are stronger in the classrooms, the halls, the cafeteria—everywhere in our school. Everything goes better.”
FISH! For Schools Culture Checkup
Where does your school rank? Where do you need to improve? Find out in just a few minutes with our FISH! For Schools Culture Checkup tool.