School Culture  

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School Culture

Why is school culture important? Here is why:

 

From "Orchestrating School Culture"

by Linda Inlay

A school’s culture lives in its shared beliefs, its values, its rituals and traditions and in how the members of the school community interact with one another. It is different from the school vision. Some schools have a vision; others do not. You can choose whether or not to have a school vision. You cannot choose whether or not to have a school culture. As Linda Inlay writes above, the school culture manifests itself in everything the people in the school do each and every day. As a school leader, you and your team can either try to shape that culture in a positive way, or you can just let it be. It’s a bit like a garden. Things will probably grow in a garden, no matter what you do. But you can make it a whole lot nicer by planting particular flowers and vegetables in particular arrangements and, of course, by pulling out some of the weeds! Bringing mindfulness and intent to your school’s culture can enable you and your team to make your school a better and more productive environment for your students and for everyone else in your school community.

 

Continue reading here.

 

 

A school’s culture lives in its shared beliefs, its values, its rituals and traditions and in how the members of the school community interact with one another. It is different from the school vision. Some schools have a vision; others do not. You can choose  whether or not to have a school vision. You cannot choose whether or not to have a school culture. As Linda Inlay writes above, the school culture manifests itself in everything the people in the school do each and every day. As a school leader, you and your team can either try to shape that culture in a positive way, or you can just let it be. It’s a bit like a garden. Things will probably grow in a garden, no matter what you do. But you can make it a whole lot nicer by planting particular flowers and vegetables in particular arrangements and, of course, by pulling out some of the weeds! Bringing mindfulness and intent to your school’s culture can enable you and your team to make your school a better and more productive environment for your students and for everyone else in your school community.

From "The Importance of School Culture for Instructional Leadership"

by Leslie Jones

“The developing and maintaining of the positive relationships with staff is a critical component of developing and nurturing positivisms in cultures in schools. When there are cultures that are more positive, teacher performances will be better which will ultimately lead to improved student performances.”

 

Improved school culture leads to positive relationships that lead to enhanced student achievement.

 

Continue reading here.

 

It may not end with you, but it does start with you!

 

We will discuss some of the big-picture steps you can take to improve your school’s culture in a moment.

 

But first, let’s talk about you.

 

It’s the work of the entire school community to build a great school culture. But the fact is there is an element of “follow the leader” in this process. What you actually do everyday sends a huge message to your school community about your values and what kind of culture you want for your school. Your actions truly do speak louder than your words. So for example, if you want to display a focus on improving instructional outcomes for your students receiving special education, you can actively participate in IEP team meetings… or learn about some new kinds of Assistive Technology that could enhance student learning. If you want to promote collaboration in your school, then eat your lunch in the cafeteria and have an informal brainstorming session with your students and staff. If you want to foster school spirit, go to your school’s football games and stay until the end (and if you can help carry some of the team’s gear, that’s even better!).

 

Basically, if you want to shape your school’s culture, one of the best ways to do it is by embodying what you want that culture to look like.

TIP

Something for everyone in the school community to consider:

“Students can tell as soon as they enter your room whether you like them and your job. I don't recall a lot of specific content from my own student days, but I do remember how I was treated. To ensure your students remember you fondly (and, of course, that they succeed at learning), you have to start by creating a culture of caring.”

 

- Ted Paukert, "Transmitting the Passion"