Impact Serotonin

Serotonin is one of the four chemicals your body produces that create the emotional state of happiness. If you lead a school, you have the ability and responsibility to impact serotonin. Here’s why and how.


Low levels of serotonin are associated with feelings of loneliness and depression. In a school culture, these are toxic recipes. They are recipes for cliques, untrustworthy political maneuvering, and disengagement. Clearly, no successful school culture is built on these.


To build a powerful school culture where serotonin levels are stimulated and increased, follow these tips:

  • Be the lead celebrator!
  • Create outdoor learning spaces.
  • Provide opportunities for staff members to show gratitude for each other’s work.
  • Plan social events at least 2-3 times per year in a variety of settings.
  • Do at least 20-25 classroom visits per week (with feedback). Yes, it’s a positive thing when done formatively!
  • Build in more opportunities for meaningful work.

These are just a few ways to impact serotonin and build a powerful school culture at the same time. Remember, happiness is essential to a healthy community within your school, and serotonin is one of the four ingredients needed!


Need to gather survey data on your school culture?

Discover the strengths and weaknesses of your school culture using the free culture forms in the online course, Surveying School Culture.