Category: Culture

  • Teacher Appreciation, 6 Ways of Being

    A few years back, I wrote an article Teacher Appreciation is Not One Week of the Year. The premise was simple: Teachers can take control of being undervalued and unappreciated. I offered six ways to do this: Appreciate Another Teacher Call Parents with Good News Gather Your Own Student Growth Data Help Out Another Teacher…

  • What’s a Connection Worth?

    We know that not all teams are the same. Some cooperate and others collaborate. We also know that cooperation is not the same thing as collaboration. However, there’s a third dimension not often discussed in PLC lingo. It’s connection. Collaboration is not the same thing as connection. My question is, what’s a connection worth to…

  • This Is Getting Personal

    Things become personal when there are inadequate processes or a lack of clarity. Have you heard these sentiments: I didn’t know your grade level was working on that! I didn’t know you wanted us to prepare that! You never told me you wanted… If you’ve had these conversations, you know that feeling. You might have…

  • Engines, Grease, and Climate

    Three metaphors: Engine = school culture Grease = school climate Pipes = communication The thing about Porsche and BMW fans…they love their engines. Engines make the car. Their power and their efficiency is something special. No engine can run without grease. The fluids keep the engine running. The pipes, hoses, and conduits keep the fluids…

  • Three Factors of Instructional Climate

    In yesterday’s post, the instructional climate was compared to the soil of a garden. How do you impact the instructional climate? Focus on three areas: Improving the effectiveness of school leadership. Making student learning visible – celebrating student success. Collective teacher efficacy.

  • Drop the Grenade, Grab the Spotlight

    It’s not completely untrue, but there is something not quite excellent about feedback. It’s almost like feedback is about focusing on flaws in order to improve.

  • Crafting Culture, A Short List

    Culture isn’t built. It isn’t created – it’s already there. It is, however, crafted. You can craft culture using a few strategies and principles: SGI Clarity Conditioning Avoid the But What Abouts Avoid Rubbernecking These five strategies are discussed in yesterday’s podcast. Here are four more essential strategies and principles for crafting school culture: Focus…

  • Action, Finishing Strong, Empathy, and Impact

    This is a mashup of season 1 focusing on Action, Finishing Strong, Empathy, and Impact on Learning. Topics include: Dynamic Teams for Culture Data Developing the Instructional Plan Using April and May to Finish Strong Empathy in School Leadership Situational Awareness Research on Staff Happiness Misuses of Data Impact on Learning Dynamic Teams A dynamic…

  • The Power of Have-To Myths

    You’ve heard of the importance of a stop-doing list – that list of programs, processes, and initiatives that we’re going to stop doing. It’s a brilliant way to minimize initiative overload. On the other hand, there is a power at play when we aren’t clear about the have-tos. Have-To Myths Have-to myths spread just as…

  • A Culture of Celebration

    What happens when leaders model how to have fun at work? What happens when words of affirmation are given more often than not? What changes when high fives are more frequent than corrective emails? What shifts when innovation is celebrated, even when mistakes are made? It’s likely we find: More dedication. Willingness to try new…

  • School Health, Culture, and Climate

    Climate is the temperature of the school. It’s how people interact with the culture. Culture is the combination of routines, rituals, habits, and beliefs of the school. It’s the engine. School health is an overarching factor that encompasses culture and climate. It is the degree to which leadership teams unify and mobilize their people to…

  • The Fringe of Conflict

    There’s a fringe where valuable creativity resides. It’s the same space where conflict also resides. It’s in this fringe where you’ll find high-performing teams. Conflict is where teams who improve must exist. On the healthy side of the fringe of conflict, teams make consistent and valuable progress. They wrestle with tough problems, talk about their…

  • Memorials, Why Your School Needs Them

    Veterans Day marks a time to remember the end of World War I. At that time it was the world’s most horrific violent events. Since the 1950s, Veterans Day has also been a time to honor those who served and serve in the Armed Forces. I’m thankful for their service and thankful for a holiday…

  • Multifinality

    In the social sciences, this concept refers to the reality that people with similar stories can end up with different outcomes. In organizational management, multifinality is the idea that one plan or strategy can be successful in one system and totally fail in another. It’s dependent on the system in which the strategy/plan operates. In schools,…

  • Games of Jeopardy and High Stakes

    Do you play games of jeopardy? Everyone loves Jeopardy. But then, it’s not really a game of high stakes. It’s trivial. Reeves (2011) states that any form of classroom visit that could jeopardize a teacher’s job security will not be enthusiastically accepted. However, sometimes there are games of jeopardy in which the stakes are high, and as…