Nine of Tomball ISD’s schools have adopted the Great Expectations model, which enables character building while developing a learning climate geared towards the entire academic environment.
All new teachers and staff at the nine GE schools were represented at the four-day professional development training program, hosted by the organization at Wildwood Elementary.
GE instructors, teachers and educators from around the country brought a fresh learning perspective to Tomball ISD once again this year.
“Great Expectations makes schools a warm learning environment and it is a great way to re-energize, recharge and re-invigorate your classroom. It brings life to everyone and everything,” Connie Beson-Steger, GE Instructor said.
Tomball ISD and Great Expectations teamed up during the summer of 2015 with Oakcrest Intermediate and Creekview Elementary as the original schools. By the next summer (2016), three more district schools joined (Tomball Elementary, Canyon Pointe Elementary and Lakewood Elementary) followed by a third wave of schools during the summer of 2017 with Decker Prairie Elementary and Willow Creek Elementary bringing the district total to seven.
This summer (2018), both Wildwood Elementary and Tomball Intermediate expanded the district’s GE model reach to nine.
“It is always exciting to look at a program expand within a district and it speaks volumes to the effectiveness and to the number of teachers being brought in each year. It is great to listen to them speak about GE being some of the best training they have and then watch them implement the learning into their classrooms,” said GE Instructor ReGina Farquhar. The students, the district, everyone in Tomball is benefitting from Great Expectations training this summer.”
Principals from each of these GE campuses joined their new staff in the classrooms, participating in a variety of character-building exercises and new approaches to learning and living.
“GE does a really amazing job at connecting an incredible learning environment with great instructional practices and great opportunities to ensure learning for students,” said Chad Schmidt, Tomball Elementary Principal. “This training is a great way to bring all staff together to have a common language and vocabulary and to get all staff and the students off on the right foot.”
Each morning, during the summer training, began with a “Call to Excellence”, which is implemented in the schools during the year. The school-wide assembly helps reinforce the eight expectations, which include: valuing one another, using good manners, cheering the successes of their peers, recognizing a good effort, offering encouragement, practicing virtuous living, and refraining from using sarcasm to make light of a mistake.
The Great Expectations summer training helps guide and teach a model that is instrumental on developing and promoting self-esteem, attendance, discipline and parent participation which ultimately improves the entire academic experience for the student and educator.
“Great Expectations training is the best way for new staff to start in Tomball ISD. It is a great opportunity to come in and see how amazing this district is and how much you are supported. We continue to strive for a caring, family environment not only in the classroom, but at the campus and district level as well.” said Schmidt.
Great Expectations® (GE) is a professional development program that provides teachers and administrators with the skills needed to create harmony and excitement within the school atmosphere, elements that are basic for inspiring students to pursue academic excellence. With a focus on the human quality of teaching and learning, GE provides renewal and inspiration for teachers who may have lost their way and forgotten why they became teachers in the beginning.
Great Expectations is an Oklahoma-based program, founded in 1991 by retired financial planner Charlier Hollar, that was envisioned as a foundational program dedicated to developing a teacher training model.
About Tomball Independent School District
Tomball ISD educates students to become responsible, productive citizens by providing innovative, individually rigorous, and personally valuable educational experiences. Founded in 1908, Tomball ISD now encompasses 83 square miles in northwest Harris County and southwest Montgomery County, and is located approximately 30 miles from downtown Houston. The district currently educates over 16,000 students at 20 campuses.