School culture is undoubtedly one of the essential aspects of education. What, then, constitutes school culture? These are the fundamental beliefs, influences, and attitudes that are shared by the members of the specific community. Essentially, these form the basis for the norms and traditions of the institution.
School culture has a direct influence on everything that goes on within the institution. This entails how students relate with each other, how teachers interact with colleagues, students, and parents. It, therefore, correlates with the ethos and climate of a given institution.
Positive school culture is palpable as soon as one walks into some institutions. It is ubiquitously apparent from the structures, the students, and the staff. In such an environment, students are always mentally and emotionally eager to learn. The teachers, on the other hand, are always keen to teach. Joy and success tend to stand out in such an environment.
Vibrant school culture has the following:
- Members feel like part of the group; safe, valued, engaged, cared for, and respected.
- Staff members are satisfied and usually remain in the institution.
- Measurable learning increases.
This article, then, seeks to highlight ways in which a positive school culture can be cultivated.
Abide by the School’s Vision and Mission
Most institutions have a vision and mission that seeks to articulate the community’s beliefs, values, and aims. However, most of the schools only have it on paper, either lying around in a file or unnoticed on the school website.
To enhance the ethos of the school, all stakeholders need to reflect on the vision regularly. The vision is usually straightforward as it elaborates on the goals of the school. This ensures that all members are continually living the mission, which is more elaborate and lengthier.
The aim is to ingrain both the vision and mission into school practices genuinely. The community is, thus, brought together by the shared drive for success.
Promoting a Resilient Culture
This usually begins at the top, from the principals and school leaders. Students will often look up to people above them to emulate how to bounce back and adjust from challenges. Therefore, these leaders should present authentic models for how to react and cope with setbacks and contentions. For instance, if a student is stuck in their assignment, seeking assistance from a do my homework service should be considered a viable alternative.
In most institutions, it is quite natural for things to spiral out of hand when things get awry. This often breeds negativity among the members. A resilient leader will foster a can-do mindset that propels the school from such setbacks. Such leaders not only bounce back with realities that keep changing but also leap forward.
Communication Is Key
This is rather easy to implement. Every member of the school community has an active voice. Each member has assured their opinion counts. This fosters an inclusive culture, which consequently eliminates mistrust and hostility.
Effective and open communication ensures that the institution’s wheels are intact and in motion as well. Teachers will teach competently, as the students learn effectively. The other stakeholders will comprehend and support the process of moving forward.
This collaborative endeavor for honesty and transparency imparts significantly in building a strong positive culture.
Recognizing Efforts of the Staff
Most people want to do well in their lives, both for themselves and others too. Staff members will certainly also want to do well to pursue the best outcomes for the students. The school culture should, therefore, be geared towards appreciating and celebrating individuals and their efforts and wins towards the collective objective.
Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports
PBIS is a method for institutions to promote good behavior among students. The approach focuses on the prevention of inappropriate behavior as opposed to punishment. This has been seen to enhance the social culture and behavior climate in the relevant institutions. It follows then that this has also lead to improvements in academic performance.
By shifting the focus from non-compliance to encouraging positive behaviors, we are taking the first steps away from a deficit model. Consequently, this makes the environment more accommodative to students, and a bit homelier to their preference.
This encourages a holistic approach to the learning experience. As such, both students and teachers are mindful of others around them. It includes emotions, stresses, or challenges that others may be facing in school. SEL will not only improve academic performance and promote positive social behavior. It also helps to mitigate emotional distress, abuse of substances, and conduct problems.
School culture unequivocally plays an integral role in the development and success of any institution. Establishing a positive culture requires every member of the school community to play their part. Only when everyone is working towards the same goals can the positive culture be realized.