Thank you to the 580K+ visitors to this blog. This blog is a creative way I use to share the good I see and find. Once I defend my dissertation and earn my doctorate, I hope to spend more time sharing the best practices that readers share with me. I appreciate the teachers and educational leaders that share tips and recommendations they find helpful in the classroom, school or district they serve, and the parents who leave comments and suggestions too.
When we train our eyes to see the good, we can do ANYTHING!
Educational leaders, as you prepare to bring your teams back together, now more than ever, we need to work with our school teams to develop a sense of collective responsibility to contribute to a positive school environment (Towers & Maguire, 2017).
Our teachers desire a sense of belonging (Kelchtermans, 2017). We need to seek to hear teacher voice, allowing our educators to take an active role in developing, implementing and engaging in professional development that will enhance the educational experience for all stakeholders holders and increase job motivation amongst team members.
Regardless if the role we serve is teacher, janitor, secretary or principal, we all teach in word and action. However, collectively, a school team needs to be of one mind, one unified team to serve the students and parents placed in their care. A positive school climate is synergistic. It takes having intentional discussions as a school team and developing a framework, a road map to team success now before the students return.
The school year can be a road with many challenges (COVID) and obstacles. However, a unified team, determined to create and maintain a positive school culture can do ANYTHING!
May this upcoming school year be filled with new discoveries and developments for your school team…
It is a joy for me to serve in education and I wanted to share some slides from one of my latest professional development sessions. As educational leaders, it is essential that we are reflective in practices and take the time to enter the difficult conversations and modeling this for our school teams. A positive school culture can not only make a difference in building a strong educational team and retaining teachers, but studies show that a positive school culture has a direct effect on student learning. Exemplary leaders understand how to create a climate of collaboration, they must determine what the group needs to do their work and build the team around a common purpose with mutual respect (Kouzes, 2017).
As we walk through this pandemic, take the time to invest into the discussion of developing or strengthening your school cultures…it will make ALL the difference!
May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~
Kouzes, J. & Posner, B (2017). The leadership challenge-how to make extraordinary things happen in organizations.
Today I entered into a discussion with young principals and assistant principals on the importance of professionalism. This led into great dialogue on various views of what did or did not constitute professional best practices, regarding setting expectations for one’s school team.
Should school teams have school spirit shirts and be allowed to wear them once a week to enhance esprit de cour or does the team wearing t-shirts look unprofessional? If parents see teachers in the office laughing, is that unprofessional and therefore the office is a quiet zone or does the laughter model the joy of the learning environment and promote creativity, team-building and relationships?
Over the last 25 years serving in various roles in education, and the last 8 years serving as a principal, I have found that amazing things can happen in learning environments with a joyful team. Research shows that a positive school culture effects student learning and teacher retention. A negative school climate has been found to reduce student participation in school activities and student learning (Chen and Weikart, 2008).
I had a mentor tell me early on in my career, that in education, it is important to always keep one student in mind bwhen making any decision. If this practice is followed, then the classroom and building environments being created, the expectations being modeled in word and action, will always benefit the student.
Research shows that by creating “team traditions” like Thankful Thursday Team Spirit Days and “allowing” and promoting laughter throughout the school, will help not hinder in promoting a positive school culture. Research shows that a positive school culture effects student learning and teacher retention.
I am passionate on this topic, as I feel it takes intentional leadership to create positive teams and a positive school culture. I have seen the amazing impact that being intentional in these areas can have on student, staff and parent morale and student learning.
Below is a picture of some of my favorite books on this topic🤗
It is that busy time of year where classroom instruction seems to fly by and engaging students of all ages can be challenging. Exhale and know that you are making a difference. Intentional planning can really help maintain the calm in the classroom these last few weeks leading up to the holiday break.
For those looking to enhance their students’ reading surrounding this season, I thought I would share this great website that offers a comprehensive list of recommended Christmas Novels and Short Stories .
I love to share the good when and where I find it!
While on vacation, I am looking for books to read to enhance the Ethical Leadership class I am taking. I stumbled upon, “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek. After reading for a couple of hours, I am comfortable in HIGHLY recommending this book.
Two talking points I am reflecting on from this morning’s reading, is (1) The importance of creating circle of safety among a team to eliminate individual silos, and (2) A child’s sense of well-being is not effected so much by the hours of work the parents put in, but the attitude of the parents when they arrive home from work.
I 100% agree with this author. I have spent the last 8 years as an educational leader building up my team and working with other schools on team building strategies. Regardless if in a school or in a home, a positive attitude can change and transform any environment!
This blog has had over a half a million viewers read one blog posting or another- thank you! The blog postings on this Unlock the Teacher blog that has had the most views, are the posts directly promoting positive behaviors with students, in the workplace or among the family unit.
Sharing the good is synergistic. Thank you for reading and sharing the good with me to post on this blog, and for striving to make a difference in the lives of those around you.
As those who read or follow this blog know, I love to share the good.
This blog has almost reached over 400,000 views, thank you!
As a doctoral student, my time has been a little busier than normal. However, I will be making time to find, reflect on and share the good in this upcoming year. Thank you for the continual encouraging comments and requests.
I find a lot of joy by sharing the good, so if you have a good idea or best practice to share to enhance education or team empowerment, please share.