On Friday I’m going to be offering a workshop at the Canadian School Boards Association’s National Conference entitled, “Getting Serious About Culture”:
“Culture is not the most important thing, it’s the only thing.”
– Jim Sinegal, Co-founder and former CEO, Costco
Is this true for schools and school districts? Having worked with districts across Canada, Dean Shareski has discovered some important ideas about building community and creating cultures where students, teachers and leaders feel empowered and work together for a better learning environment for students. This session will provide an opportunity for participants to share, gain insight and develop plans to create a powerful learning culture.
In preparation for this, I sent out an informal survey on Twitter to get a sense of people’s perception of their own district. I was pleasantly surprised. I defined culture as, “the beliefs, perceptions, relationships, attitudes, and written and unwritten rules that shape and influence every aspect of how a school functions.”
I received 146 responses and here are the results:
(these were the top answers)
I also ask for any additional thoughts, here are a few:
Empowered in my classroom, but not so much outside my classroom.
Wanted to answer yes and no. Sometimes I feel empowered.I sometimes feel empowered and other times my power is reduced by the siloed nature of my district.
The leadership and teachers have completely different thoughts on how the district should proceed. Inconsistent initiatives have caused this rift.I worked in a school where the culture was a mess. The teachers worked well together but it was us vs. them (administration) and it was awful. I now work in a school where teachers matter, admin pitches in whenever and wherever needed, and it all leads to what is best for the students. It is a phenomenal place to teach and learn.Leadership without vision creates a culture of apathy