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Creative Strategies to Transform School Culture
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Creative Strategies to Transform School Culture

Edited by:


July 2009 | 176 pages | Corwin
"Principals at all levels will find this book valuable. It translates espoused theories of climate and culture into practical ideas."

Boyd Dressler, Associate Adjunct Professor, Montana State University

"Focused, to the point, and direct—a quick read for a busy principal looking for ideas."

Leslie A. Standerfer, Principal, Estrella Foothills High School, Goodyear, AZ

Set the tone for educational success!

School culture is one of the most important factors in student and staff performance. Positive climates foster superior achievement, while negative climates discourage learners, educators, and parents alike. Based on thirty years of combined experience as school principals, staff developers, and educational leaders, John F. and Sheila Eller present a wide spectrum of unique, practical, and proven strategies to improve school climate and culture.

Divided into chapters that emphasize the main components of school culture, this guide allows busy school leaders to go directly to the section that best addresses their specific needs. The authors provide a clear definition of culture along with diagnostic tools to help readers determine the state of their school's culture. Chapters feature activities and ideas to:

- Foster personal rapport and collegiality between staff members

- Develop collaborative work relationships

- Improve staff meetings

- Address issues related to office operations

- Deal appropriately with conflict

Creative Strategies to Transform School Culture offers fun and inventive ideas for school leaders who are working diligently to create a collaborative teaching and learning environment.


 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. Culture and Climate
About This Chapter

 
School Climate Versus Culture

 
Rapport, Trust, Climate, Culture, and Their Interrelationship

 
The Importance of Trust

 
Building and Sustaining Organizational Trust

 
Strategies to Build Trust and Impact School Climate

 
Summary

 
 
2. Diagnosing the Present Climate and Culture of Your School
About This Chapter

 
Informal Diagnostic Strategies

 
Formal or Structured Diagnostic Instruments

 
Planning Templates

 
Summary

 
 
3. Building the Foundation for Success
About This Chapter

 
Working With the Office Staff

 
Strategy: Planning and Developing an Effective Office Staff

 
Creating a Positive Physical Environment for Staff

 
Strategy: Through These Doors

 
Welcoming Staff Back to School

 
Activity: Getting to Know Your Teachers and Staff

 
Activity: Welcome Back Barbeque

 
Refreshments for Staff

 
Business Cards for Staff

 
Name Plates for Teachers

 
Positive Message

 
First Day Survival Kit

 
Ice Cream Social Event

 
Breakfast for Staff

 
Wrapping Up the Classroom

 
Book Fair Gifts

 
Summary

 
 
4. Building an Emotional Base for Your Climate and Culture Improvements
About This Chapter

 
Activity: Measuring Their Impact

 
Activity: I Remember When...

 
Activity: Descriptive Footwear

 
Activity: The Boot Award

 
Activity: Jack-O-Lanterns

 
Activity: Block of Support

 
Activity: Artifact Introductions

 
Activity: The Thank You Blitz

 
Activity: Candle Ceremony

 
Activity: Bag of Positive Phrases

 
Activity: Spread the Word

 
Activity: Reward With a Smile

 
Activity: A Novel Staff

 
Activity: Floating or Traveling Trophy

 
Activity: Jelly Bean Questions

 
Activity: Snowball Fight

 
Summary

 
 
5. Staff Meeting Starters to Build Culture
Activity: Good News

 
Activity: Human Bingo

 
Activity: Who's Connected

 
Activity: My Piece of the Pie

 
Activity: I'm a Card

 
Summary

 
 
6. Activities to Couple With Tasks and Decisions
About This Chapter

 
Activity: Future Set

 
Activity: Carouseling

 
Strategy: Leafing Out With Goal Attainment

 
Activity: Comparison Diagram

 
Activity: Buy What Is Most Important

 
Activity: It's a Star

 
Activity: Criteria Rating

 
Activity: Progressive Problem Solving

 
Activity: From My Perspective

 
Activity: Ripple Effects

 
Activity: Small Group Ripple Effects

 
Activity: Sticky Note Ripple Effects

 
Activity: Ripple Effects Contest

 
Activity: Carousel Ripple Effects

 
Summary

 
 
7. Building a Sense of Team
About This Chapter

 
Interdependence, Community, and Their Impact on School Climate and Culture

 
Activity: Toxic Waste Transfer

 
Activity: Figure It Out

 
Activity: Communication Problems

 
Activity: All Tied Up

 
Activity: Passing the Hoop

 
Activity: Building a Poker Hand

 
Activity: Hula Hoop Relays

 
Activity: Circle of Support

 
Activity: Rising Tower

 
Activity: It Takes a Village

 
Summary

 
 
8. We're Not Getting Along; Now What?
About This Chapter

 
The Nature of Conflict

 
Activity: Pack Up Your Baggage

 
Activity: Parking Lot Meeting

 
Activity: Transfer the Anger

 
Activity: Ashes to Ashes

 
Activity: Go to Your Corners

 
Activity: Corner on Perspectives

 
Activity: Victory Laps

 
Activity: Half-Full or Half-Empty

 
Activity: Compare our Perspectives

 
Activity: Peeling the Onion

 
Mediating Between Conflicting Parties

 
Productive Influence of Conflict on a Team

 
Conflict and Chaos

 
Summary

 
 
9. Celebrating Your Success
About This Chapter

 
Strategy: Planning the Celebration at the Start of the Initiative

 
Activity: High Fives

 
Activity: Banana Splits

 
Activity: Gallery Walk

 
Strategy: Trophy Case Displays

 
Strategy: Get Out of Duty Cards

 
Strategy: Success Thermometer

 
Summary

 
 
10. Supporting Climate and Cultural Change as a Leader
About This Chapter

 
Step 1: Understand Your Strengths, Weaknesses, and Inhibitions

 
Step 2: Build a Seedbed

 
Step 3: Plant the Seeds

 
Step 4: Nurture Them, Watch Them Grow

 
Step 5: Pull the Weeds

 
Step 6: Harvest the Crop

 
Summary

 
 
References
 
Index

“A clear, consistent focus.”

Darryl L. Williams, Principal
Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, MD

“Focused, to the point, and direct—a quick read for a busy principal looking for ideas.”

Leslie A. Standerfer, Principal
Estrella Foothills High School, Goodyear, AZ

“Principals at all levels will find this book valuable. It translates espoused theories of climate and culture into practical ideas.”

Boyd Dressler, Associate Adjunct Professor
Montana State University
Key features
  • Practical and proven ideas, strategies, and activities
  • Organized into common themes of collaboration, working through conflict, problem solving, effective decision making, building a strong learning community, and improving work climate

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1


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