Everybody has heard from others that being positive and creating a culture that you want to see is what ultimately drives the negative and unwanted culture away from you. This is very true and I do believe this. The difficult part of this is waiting for this to transpire. Often times we want to see results right away.
Look for something positive each day, even if some days you might have to look a little bit harder.
These results take time. Time none of us want to spend waiting to see if it works. Culture change comes from the daily work and words that are put forth, not from making a single change and sitting back waiting to see the results. The results will show themselves in do time as long as people are speaking and walking the culture they want in their buildings day in and day out.
I have worked with some fantastic teachers. Teachers who always had a kid-centered classroom and used quality instructional practices in their classrooms each day. On the flip side of that coin, I have work with some people who never have a positive thing to say about students or especially their support structure and administration. Creating a positive culture has a way to reveal who those negative and toxic people are. These are the type of people that will work against the positive with everything they have. When they see that their negativity and toxicity have no hold on the positive culture that is being built, they will “jump ship” to find another place.
Here are SOME things that you can do to help promote a positive culture in your building:
- ASSUME THE BEST INTENT – Always assume that teacher have the best intent in their actions in the building. While some are out to cause problems and spread their toxic agenda, many are so isolated in their classrooms that they are not seeing how their classroom is having an effect on the school as a whole. I have seen it on many accounts where it is just assumed that it was coming from a specific teacher that the “act” only had negative connotation to it because that teacher had previously shown their negative and toxic agenda. This is not always the case. Always assume that with each act people have the best intent for kids and for the building as a whole.
- RELATIONSHIPS – This cannot be stressed enough. If you want to have a positive culture in your school, take the time to build relationships with the staff that are “in the trenches” each and every day. These are the people that will help build that positive culture that you are trying to accomplish.
- COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE – Communicate often with teachers. They are focused on kids and it is our job to ward off as many outside situations to protect the instruction time as possible. Teachers want to teach, that is all. They want to make positive impacts on kids. They don’t want to spend time discussing agenda items that are not part of the instruction of students. Keeping teachers informed about what is happening in the office is good. They don’t really care what we are planning for the most part, but they do care when they are not communicated with about things that might take away from their classroom.