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-


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