There is a significant focus on school culture and how to create a positive school climate. The good thing is, it isn’t rocket science. You can improve school culture with little things – and it can end up having a big impact.
Why focus on school culture? Research has shown that “when school cultures focus on strengths, collaboration, productivity, communication, relationships, improvement, and kindness, the individuals who are a part of that community will be much more likely to succeed because he or she will feel a sense of significance and encouragement, rather than competition and hopelessness.” (Peterson, K. D. & Deal; Shaping school culture: Pitfalls, paradoxes, & promises) Positive school culture creates stronger relationships, motivating teachers and students to excel in their studies and social development.
Here are 5 great ideas to get you started!
- Share a positive photo and story every day with your school. Spreading positivity is always a simple way to enhance your school climate. A positive school photo and/or story each day helps students start the day with a good mindset and helps to create a sense of community and safety.
- Share post-secondary acceptance and scholarship notices. Getting accepted into a post secondary program is exciting and a great opportunity to build on that excitement within your school community. Post letters or notices on a dedicated wall or to your school social media.
- Once a month write a school alumni post. Your past students are out in the world doing great things. Once a month share an alumni story with the school. It’s inspiring and helps connect your students to the post-school world. Ask your faculty for ideas.
- Create a simple rewards and recognition program. Grades and test scores are often students ONLY feedback at school. Create a simple recognition program (a coin or a coupon) to recognize students doing little things that make a difference. See a student open a door for someone, pick up a piece of garbage or stay after class to help stack chairs, take a moment to recognize it. Share them on your school app, website or announcements because peer recognition goes a long way.
- Greet students at the door in the morning. Many students can go through high school and never speak to their principal. Once a week make a point of spending 15-20 minutes at one of the main school doors and greet students. Ask their name and wish them a great day. You’d be amazed at the positive impact of a little personal interaction and it makes you accessible to your students.