Words of Wisdom

Seeing and sharing the good as I find it!
This was in a bathroom in a fun Grand Rapids establishment.

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The Importance of Building a Positive School Culture

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~

Denise

Reference

Kouzes, J. & Posner, B (2017). The leadership challenge-how to make extraordinary things happen in organizations.

Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

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A Positive Team Creates a Positive School Culture

Mature development can occur within a team with a clearly communicated mission, defined expectations, intentional professional development and team building moments.

A positive team creates a positive school culture.

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Don’t Underestimate the Importance of JOY -Creating and Maintaining a Positive Team

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🤗

Thoughts to ponder…

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things-

Denise

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Recommended Christmas Novels and Short Stories for Students of all Ages

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!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

 

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A Book Recommendation for Inspirational Leaders…“Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek

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.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things-

Denise

SharingTheGood

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Sharing The Good

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.

Bless your holiday season…

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Words have Power…let us be Intentional

Words have power…let us be intentional in teaching and modeling for our leaders of tomorrow!

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Be a Leader that Creates Bridges and Chooses to See and Share the Good

Tuesday Reflection:

Not everyone has the skill set to lead others. However, we all have it within us to choose to see and share the good. When a team adopts this type of philosophy, of intentionally focusing on the good in one another, it can transform a work environment. If you are that person with whom the gift of leadership has been given, may you choose to be a leader that creates bridges and models for the team on what it looks like to be a positive builder of men and women! #ShareTheGood

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Teachers Sharing the Good with One Another

I am so excited to share that Maria Chubb and Karina Lepkowski mastered educators teaching at Most Holy Trinity within the Archdiocese of Detroit Catholic Schools will be coming to share their best practices they have been sharing at Detroit area EdCamps and Archdiocese of Detroit professional development sessions on March 3rd for our Archdiocese of Baltimore and Loyola University “Harness the Power Within” Professional Development Day!

#SharingTheGood #WeAreAllOneBodyinChrist

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things-

Denise

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