Seth Godin, well known American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and speaker, has written a bit about mission statements. He had this to say about it,
“It’s so easy to string together a bunch of platitudes and call them a mission statement. But what happens if you actually have a specific mission, a culture in mind, a manifesto for your actions?
The essential choice is this: you have to describe (and live) the difficult choices. You have to figure out who you will disappoint or offend. Most of all, you have to be clear about what’s important and what you won’t or can’t do.”
After my first year teaching I found that I lacked a sense of cohesion that connected the first unit to the last unit (beyond the general sense of history connecting one event to another in a chronological fashion). I am retired military (21+ years) and drawing on that background came to realize that I needed a mission statement with approaches and objectives in the hopes that this will strengthen my teaching for next year.
The mission of the [School District] Alternative Program’s high school United States history class is to impart to its students a cultural and natural understanding of one’s place in the world, which is essential to good citizenship. To this end, we have an environment that is engaging and will provide students a historical perspective for moral contemplation and binding them to those American generations who have come before and to those who are yet to be born.