Baan Dek

Culture Matters

Thoughts & Reflections

We shared a few thoughts on how we like to think about growing the culture at Baan Dek. The short of it is: We love what we’re doing and who we are fortunate enough to do it with. The passion our team exudes is relentless and hopeful – and, the reception by our families is equally humbling and profound.

Dear Team,

Whether you’ve just arrived, or have been at Baan Dek for as long as you can remember, we thought this living, breathing, evolving document could serve as a testament, not only to the work we’re doing, but the work we have left to do — together. It’ll help keep us always-on-the-same-page, and guide us as a source of inspiration.

Let’s get started:

Here’s the perspective by which we should operate.

We have an opportunity to irrevocably change the face of education.

  • Not just in Sioux Falls.
  • Not just in South Dakota.
  • Not just in the United States.
  • But, literally everywhere on the planet.

We don’t say that lightly — and, we do take it very seriously.

Here’s what we know:

Baan Dek is known throughout the world as a beacon for Montessori. We provide an incredible foundation for children and an amazing resource for teachers and schools. That’s our mission —

We serve as a lighthouse of hope for others:

  • our teachers are learners, who are confident and have an optimistic outlook on the potential they see in each and every child – and, they cherish the chance to serve them;
  • our parents are committed to providing the best education they can for their children, and have entrusted to us this wonderful opportunity -we’re their confidants;
  • educators outside our organization value and respect our approach, and take stock in what we have to say, turning to us for a renewed sense of their own passion;
  • schools see Baan Dek as a special place, a place that is unafraid to speak-up for the things that matter, and do things that can lead to real, momentum-building change;

Here are a few of the things that make us extra-special:

  • our attention to detail
  • our attitude and focus on the positive
  • our non-judgmental approach (to childhood no less than parenthood)
  • our incredibly passionate and committed team
  • our willingness to take things at least one step further

While we often get caught up in the daily things, it’s important to keep in mind this broader perspective.

What we do — what we are doing — matters.

  • it matters for our students and their families;
  • the parents and teachers of other schools who feed off of our inspiration;
  • and, the larger Montessori and education-oriented community who is looking for another way forward;

It also matters, for each of you: for your integrity, for your compassion, and for your hopes for the future.

The small things are the big things.

Here are a few things that we should keep in mind and never forget:

  • We are fortunate to have children attend our school and we must never take this for granted or overlook what this means; it means so much.
  • We are lucky to have parents that trust us with their children’s education and are wanting a better life for their children.
  • Let us also never forget how humbled we are by how many people throughout the world look to Baan Dek as a clarion signal.

All of these people, from all different backgrounds and walks of life, they look to us for the way forward. Let’s show them the way the best we know how.

Speaking of “us”.

Each of “us” is unique, singular, with a specific set of talents and traits and characteristics to share and help improve the entire organization. We are a collective. At Baan Dek, we are all part of the same shared vision, which we believe is greater than any individual, and we work hard to find ways to share our unique insights in a reasonable way — together.

The “us” matters.

This chosen profession of ours is not a job. It’s a passion. Actually, it’s more than that. It’s a way of living and a way of viewing life: adopting and incorporating key Montessori principles into who we want to become, and diligently working towards those expanding goals. Not one of us found this profession the same way as another, but now that we are here, let’s work together to make a difference.

The “us” matters.

We are more than just great classrooms, comprised of great teachers, and great children, allowing a great philosophy to come alive. We are a community of learners who offer and accept help from one another. We understand that we’re in this together. We are a community that actively seeks each other’s assistance out — to better ourselves, to better each other, to better our shared vision for Baan Dek. We support each other in our efforts, without judgement and with compassion. We are always eager and willing to understand and reach out. We are committed, together, to helping make things just that much better. Everything we do is worth everything we put into it.

The “us” matters.

We engage in conversations. You see, culture matters, and that starts when everyone gets on the same page. When everyone is committed to the same ideals. Then, even the biggest of differences, become the littlest of obstacles. Why? Because, we’re in this together. Let’s work to demand greatness from ourselves and encourage it from others.

There are a few things that we all need to constantly remain on-the-same-page about:
no part is bigger than the whole;
we need to communicate in a friendly, meaningful, impactful way;
after all, it is through the whole that the world will hear us;

We believe:

  • We believe in each other.
  • We believe in our abilities to work together.
  • We wholeheartedly believe in our team.

Lest we forget, we also believe that we can all improve and that we’re all here and committed to help each other improve.The “us” is generous.People often mistake our generosity for weakness, but we’ve always perceived it as our greatest strength. Our willingness to meet families where they are: children, parents, teachers, schools, is the same as our willingness to take things one step further — it’s the greatest generosity we know.

Together, we can change everything. We can irrevocably change the future of education.

  • Are you ready? — Let’s start with the small things.
  • Are you committed? — Let’s chat about the big things.
  • Are we all on the same page? — We think so.

Culture matters. Let’s get started.

— Team Baan Dek

P.S. We’re always looking for great people to join us. Is that you? Send us a note!

Written by:

Bobby George

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