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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in school climate

Posted by on in School Culture

Kids will not work for you unless they trust you.  If they trust you, they will enjoy being in your presence.  The longer they are in your presence, the easier it will be to form lasting, productive relationships.  And the more genuine relationships you have in your school, the more positive your school climate will be.

Building relationships with your students takes time.  The process takes a lot of conscious effort.  It involves a million little conversations and compliments and moments of caring and concern and celebration.  It includes laughter and sometimes disappointment and a few tears as well.  

I spend my entire day talking to kids – in the classroom, in the hallway, on the way to and from specials and lunch and recess and assemblies, in the cafeteria, and at the front of the school as they are leaving for home.  I believe that all of those mini-conversations make a difference in making kids feel as though they are noticed, as though they are appreciated, as though they are loved.

This morning, as I took a short break from testing, I headed to the office for the restroom and then to check my mail.  I heard my name called and turned around to see Ivan leaving his testing situation in the library.  

“Mr. Ramsey!” the boy called.  “Where are you going?”

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Posted by on in School Culture

complacency

I just finished reading one of the best books ever. The Operator by Robert O’Neill is the story of the Navy SEAL who dedicated a good chunk of his life fighting for American freedoms. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, it should; he’s the SEAL who fired three rounds into Osama Bin Laden.

The boy from Butte, Montana, gave his all for all of us for over 16 years. He didn’t stay 20 years (20 years gives a pension and benefits); he left after 16. He left for a myriad of reasons, but the biggest factor was how he was becoming complacent when he was going on missions. He shared about one specific mission where he was so lax that he was smoking cigars a few minutes before a planned ambush of terrorists. After the ambush, he was hanging out with guys who were tossing around damaged RPG heads as if they were nerf balls. O’Neill said flat out that if he kept up his complacent ways, it would literally kill him, which had me thinking.

What about those in education who become complacent? The teacher who is waiting until 25 years? The principal who won’t do anything that would “rock the boat”? The superintendent who is just trying to keep everyone happy? All of these complacent actions are killing the creativity of both staff and students and dashing the hopes of some, keeping them from being the best they can really be.

We’ve all seen these so-called educators in our schools. We’ve either subjected to them as a student, worked with them as coworkers, or even supervised them. If you think that none of them are where you work, you’re being foolish. They are everywhere. Some are placed in positions that have the least student contact, some have positions created for them (or a position is created to keep them occupied and out of everyone’s hair), some become lapdogs for administrators, and some even brainwash an entire community into thinking that they are so important that whatever they do is equally important. What these people project versus what these people do is just flat out sad. Their complacent attitudes end up just wasting space and tax-payer dollars.

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Posted by on in General

Brito-pic.jpg

The measure of a school's worth is directly associated with the quantity and quality of the connections between the adults and the children who share the building on a daily basis. Students are more likely to flourish as learners when they know they are appreciated, supported, and loved by the teachers and other staff members they encounter on campus.

It is our job to provide that type of structure for the kids in our classrooms. But we also share the immense responsibility of being there for ALL of the school's children. The adage, "it takes a village," is indeed true as the success of students will exponentially increase with each added strand of support woven into their emotional web.

Sometimes all it takes is a quick acknowledgement on the sidewalk - a "hello," a "have a good day," even an "are you okay?" Such a connection might be the only adult interaction in a child's day. Every moment counts! Talk to your kids in line for lunch, on the playground, on the sidewalk as they leave for home at the end of the day...

As a principal, I noticed one day a student and a teacher walking toward each other on the sidewalk. The teacher said nothing at all. Later that day, I made sure that the staff understood that the expectation was for staff members to make the first move in greeting ALL children - whether they knew them or not. Most kids have yet to fully master that social skill. Some may even keep on walking without responding to your greeting. But at least they know that someone noticed them. Such a small show of interest could greatly redirect the trajectory of that child's emotional well-being for the day - and perhaps for the year.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

School starts again tomorrow after the holiday break. Teachers are thinking about how to make the day special for students, how to welcome them back in a way that helps them feel connected and happy about being back at school. They champion their students, thinking about each one of them and how they might be feeling tomorrow.

What are principals thinking about? Getting through observations? State testing coming up in the spring? Documents to prepare for state mandates? All important things and worthy of time and attention, but not at the sacrifice of leading the adults in the school.

Principals, instead, are you thinking about how to welcome teachers back in a way that helps them feel connected and happy about being back at school? Are you championing the teachers, and thinking about how each one of them might be feeling tomorrow? 

Share how you are a #Champion4Teachers as we welcome teachers and students back from the holiday break.

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Posted by on in What If?

stencil.twitter post 66

SIMPLE TRUTH:

The power of a teacher is truly known when we allow a child to be truly known

 

RESEARCH TELLS US:

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