You can’t see school culture nor can you touch it, but it sure does pulse through the halls. School culture is electric and as the principal, you hold the lightening rod. Positive energy sparks unity, a desire to succeed and a shared sense of purpose. Negativity just breeds anxiety, discontent and apathy. Leading a school where everyone has the same goals, the same vision and desire to learn is essential—but takes hard work.
How do you ensure that you support a vibrant school culture? By encouraging innovation, leadership, teamwork, and unity! Read on for our 11 best tips and ideas, all you can start utilizing today.
1. Being a leader doesn’t change who you are at the core
Even though you have a lot of responsibility resting on your shoulders, you’re only human. It’s okay to own a mistake. Always be yourself and never pretend you have all the answers!
2. Boost morale by asking for feedback
There’s nothing more powerful than asking your staff for their honest views. Except for then listening to those views and implementing their ideas.
3. Nip bullying in the bud
It’s near impossible to make learning a priority when students feel anxious at school. Set forth an anti-bullying plan before it’s an issue!
4. Give your students a platform
If your students have an active role in developing the school culture, you set them up to be leaders and big thinker for the rest of their lives.
5. Make parents feel wanted
Parental involvement leads to fewer behavior problems and greater academic performance. When parents want to participate in school wide activities, they pass on that sense of pride to their children.
6. You’re being watched at all times
As the principal, all eyes are always on you. What you say and what you do carries great weight.
7. Follow the lead of preschoolers
Think about it: preschool is the gold standard of a happy school culture. Toddlers love their classroom, making learning fun is mandatory and parental involvement is a no brainer. Plus, whose ever complained about being plied with snacks?
8. Think about how you talk with students
Kids will screw up and some days they’ll frustrate us to no end—-but how you respond goes a long way in how they feel about themselves.
9. Behold, the power of tech
Encouraging your teachers to use learning management systems in their classrooms increases engagement and builds a growth mindset among students.
10. Make your school lunch program special
From growing food on campus to erasing the stigma that comes with free meals—food always brings people together.
11. Create, lead and support school-wide programs and initiatives
Give your students and teachers a reason to come together by working towards a big goal—and watch their pride and passion for learning (and your school) soar!