Turn on the news and there is a good chance that you are going to hear about failing schools in the United States and how we are not reaching our kids. And while there is plenty of data out there to back up what is going wrong in education in terms of test scores and college and career readiness, the critics are so busy looking at numbers that they are missing the root cause of the problem - a school's culture and climate.
The usual list of cures for failing schools includes more time in the classroom, new curriculum, and better teacher training. But the truth is that too many schools have a culture of negativity that is spiraling them downward. There are ways to create a positive school culture that will ultimately turn the data in the direction everyone wants it to go.
Building relationships between and among students and staff will positively impact the culture in a building. These relationships will not only make students and teachers feel good about coming to school, but it will also give staff an opportunity to cultivate student leaders within the building. Positive school culture develops from the top down. That starts with school administrators and makes its way down to teachers and then students.
Formally teaching students how to cope with their emotions in a productive way in another key component to improving a school's culture. Making social-emotional learning a part of the curriculum will help students to make better decisions, set achievable goals, and show empathy for others.
Professional Development is an often under-utilized resource in taking all the pieces of a positive school culture and putting it into action in the classroom, as well as in the hallways, sports fields, and neighborhoods. School staff need to have proper training so that they feel empowered, and not overwhelmed, by a building's positive school culture initiative.
The Leadership Program knows that school leaders face many challenges within their building. The pull toward negativity can be so strong sometimes, that it becomes hard to see that there is a path toward change available to them that can turn around issues like low attendance, disengaged families, and unmotivated students and staff.
The Leadership Program can get you on that path. Once you commit to the possibility, the change will come. It all starts with you and the belief that your school is filled with leaders just waiting for you to tap their potential. And we don't just mean students.
Our initiative reaches students, staff and families. We believe each of these components is key to a school's success. Contact The Leadership Program to schedule a consultation and find out how your school can become part of the change.
Click here to read/write comments