AfterClass

Here’s how you can create positive change at your school.

Feb 11, 2020

Campus culture is one of the most important variables affecting your school. An environment devoid of accountability, collaboration, respect, joy, and achievement is detrimental to both staff and students. These types of campuses can change curriculum and staff, but until the culture is changed, the end result will be the same: Goals will be unmet and students will be underserved. Campus culture matters, and not just to make work more enjoyable.

Campus culture trickles down from the staff to the students, and from the students to academic results. Poor campus culture is a leading cause of staff turnover; it also breeds distrust among colleagues and cripples collaboration. More importantly, students are impacted by poor campus culture, which can be reflected by their achievement. While a positive campus culture does make work more enjoyable for teachers, it also directly impacts the students they serve.

6 Simple Ways to Improve Campus Culture

1. Be Kind

You can start changing campus culture immediately by simply being kind. That doesn’t mean being kind to the staff you like or the secretary that gave you extra supplies, it means being kind to everyone. In fact, being kind to those with whom your relationship may not be the smoothest will have the greatest impact on campus culture. Write them a note, shout them out in a meeting, or ask them for advice. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can thaw a frosty relationship with simple acts of kindness.

2. Save the Complaining

Negativity breeds negativity, which destroys campus culture. Teaching is difficult, the system isn’t perfect, and sometimes things are unfair. Anyone who has spent time in a classroom knows this, so why waste time complaining about it? Not only will you improve campus culture, you’ll also improve your own outlook. If you need to vent, which can be healthy, save it for someone who loves you outside of school.

3. Be Solution-oriented

When problems arise — and they will — immediately seek solutions. Facilitate these discussions with your peers and not only will you develop effective ways to handle problems, you’ll also replace complaining with something productive.

4. Communicate

More rifts arise on campus because of poor communication, assumptions, and misinformation than anything else. Communicate with one another when something seems off. Chances are, talking through it will help both parties feel better about the issue.

5. Celebrate Your Peers

There are so many wonderful things being done on campuses across the state — celebrate them! Create a board in a common area to celebrate the day-to-day achievements on campus. This can help build a positive culture and encourage your peers.

6. Smile

Smiling has been scientifically proven to enhance your mood, relieve stress, and boost your immune system. It can do the same for those around you and is the easiest way to impact campus culture.

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Arizona K12 Center

@azk12 Mar 30, 2020 18:01:40

RT @dawnolsonaz: AZ schools now #closednotclosed until the end of the school year. Teaching in these times can be like a cactus, thorny but…

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