Hi All.... hope this finds you well. Beautiful day here in Southern New Jersey... summer is in the air!!!
“Community building must become the heart of any school improvement effort.”
“School cultures can not be changed from with-out; they must be changed from with-in.”
(Roland Barth, 2001)
Questions drive all learning.... and i like to collect good questions.... here are some i am currently playing with from a book titled......
Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division
By Anthony Muhammad
1.How would you personally describe school culture, and how would you rate your
school’s culture (healthy or toxic)?
2. From your personal experience, what happens when technical change precedes cultural change? How does this affect teacher morale and willingness to change?
3. How has No Child Left Behind (NCLB) affected the focus, policies, and practices in your school?
4. Is flexibility with students an important concept in building a healthy school
culture? How flexible is your school or district environment?
5. How do educators develop intrinsic motivation for student achievement? How can
educators who lack this trait develop it?
6. Can you identify and recite your school or district mission? If not, what are the factors that cause this disconnect? Can a staff truly be unified in purpose if they never formally articulate that commitment?
7. How do you celebrate the prowess of the staff in your school or district? What does
authentic celebration produce in an educational community?
8. What are the current components of your school or district program for mentoring new teachers? Does it adequately meet the needs of new teachers? What evidence do you have to support your belief?
9. How can teacher collaboration foster a sense of unity in a school? How can improper
collaboration foster staff division? How can you nurture proper professional collaboration
in your school?
10. Can a teacher leader impact the school culture? How and why?
11. According to Muhammad, every building has four different types of teachers working in concert---or conflict---with one another.
: "Believers are educators who believe in the core values that make up a healthy school culture. They believe that all of their students are capable of learning and that [educators] have a direct impact on student success."
: "Tweeners are educators who are new to the school culture. Their experience can be likened to a 'honeymoon period' in which they spend time trying to learn the norms and expectations of the school's culture."
: "[Survivors] are the small group of teachers who are 'burned out'---so overwhelmed by the demands of the profession that they suffer from depression and merely survive from day to day."
: "Fundamentalists are staff members who are not only opposed to change, but organize to resist and thwart any change initiative. They can wield tremendous political power and are a major obstacle in implementing meaningful school reform."
Can you staff be sorted into these categories?
Which category causes the most concern when trying to create change?
What can teacher leader's do to transform culture?
Feel free to share any responces or other questions that guide your thinking/feelings on transforming school culture.....
be well... mike