Initiative 2: Enhancing Faculty Culture
Foster a work environment that promotes creativity, innovation, high morale and excellence in faculty and staff.
Studies have shown that the number one factor for student retention is a satisfied and engaged faculty. While this is already a strength at Valley Christian, it is something we highly value and want to continue to build. Since relationships are foundational to the education our students receive, this starts with engaged, motivated and properly equipped teachers.
At Valley Christian, we have accomplished teachers with diverse experiences and educational backgrounds. Our administrator has been at the school for 34 years, and he is joined by 13 others who have called Valley Christian home for more than 10 years. Our new teachers bring exuberance and a fresh perspective to the classroom. More than 50% of our faculty hold an advanced degree, including two with doctorates.
Research by our own Dr. Tonkinson has shown that meaningful relationships result in greater student success. This is true at all levels of our organization. We are purposefully investing energy, effort and resources in our most important resource, our teachers. We are confident this will improve our students’ experience at Valley Christian.
Three areas we have identified to enhance faculty culture are improved staff unity and morale, continued staff training and improved Biblical integration throughout every class. Some examples of what this looks like include: an annual faculty retreat, more focused professional development such as workshops and conferences, and implementing a program focused on Biblical integration in all subject areas.
A faculty that works together for a common purpose and is driven by the same core values, thrives. Understanding how important our teachers are, we want to ensure they have opportunities to continue to grow.
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Activities and Accomplishments
Studies show that the number one factor for student retention is a satisfied and engaged faculty. While this is already a strength at Valley Christian, it is something we highly value and want to continue to intentionally build. Relationships are foundational to the education our students receive. This starts with engaged, motivated and properly equipped teachers. We also know that work environments that have a positive culture are more productive and work more effectively in accomplishing the organization’s goals.
Knowing this, a Culture Committee was formed. As a result we have had some very powerful retreats and team building exercises. Retreats focused on the philosophy why a Christian education is so important as well as building unity among teachers and staff. We can already see a more united group among the employees at VCS.
Another facet of this initiative is professional development. We are providing more opportunities and funds for our faculty and staff to get trained in best practices so they can become better at their jobs. To give some examples, over the past couple of years our staff has been able to attend the Global Leadership Summit, conferences and workshops on specific topics, and received additional training in their areas of expertise. We also have paid for continuing education for some of our teachers.