Building a School that Thrives


It’s January 1st,  a time to start setting intentions for the coming year. My intention is to build a school that thrives. It’s a long term goal, I know – but how amazing it would be to work in a school where everyone truly thrives.

Thinking about thriving  inspires  us to aim higher and dig deeper.  When teaching my students mathematics, I not only ask, “Are my students learning, and meeting the expected outcomes”, but are they thriving in maths? This means I start wondering how engaged they are, how challenged they are, how connected they feel to the subject, how confident they are to use mathematics.

I also apply that word to my team,  the group of teachers I am responsible for leading and supporting. Are they thriving in their work or are they feeling worn down? Do they have a sense of efficacy and meaning in what they are doing? What conditions are necessary so that my teachers can thrive?

And what about me? Am I thriving in my role. What do I need so that I can thrive? What do I need to do or change to create the right conditions for myself?

And what about you? Are you thriving?

What would it take for everyone in your school to thrive?


5 thoughts on “Building a School that Thrives

  1. Hi Corinne

    I agree that it’s important to remember to consider everyone as learners and individuals: our students, our colleagues, our selves. The key to organisational (or national or global) thriving is honouring each individual element and the interconnectivity between them. I like Costa and Garmston’s ‘holonomy’ (I discuss it a bit here: ) which is all about systemic, symbiotic interdependence.

    Personal, professional and organisational growth is central to my school role (and also to my PhD research) around a teacher growth model which has at its heart the aim to meaningfully facilitate teacher growth, and a belief in the capacity of everyone to own and author their own growth.

    With the right conditions, those tall healthy flowering plants reaching their petals to the sun – will multiply!


    • Hi Deb,
      Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting on my blog. I really like the link you sent me – I’ve never heard of ‘holonomy’ before and your article is fascinating. The interdependent relationship between the individual and the organisation can be fraught at times. I definitely want to delve deeper into learning about this area.

  2. Some great questions Corinne. When I think about the notion of Thriving I’d want to know ‘where to?’; ‘what prevents?’ and ‘what capabilities are needed and available?’ I sense it’s a challenge to thrive if we haven’t defined what we’re wanting to become. And if we haven’t identified the barriers in our way we’ll keep banging our heads on the same challenge. And if the capabilities just aren’t there, well, that either an opportunity for development or a chance to reassess our expectations.

    And wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could thrive! Here’s hoping

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