Shaping district culture to create a flexible learning environment
Seminole County Public Schools / Sanford, FL
Suburban / K-12
Creating buy-in with a culture of empathy and collaboration
Finding innovative solutions by promoting a growth mindset
Fostering teacher and student agency
Inspiring innovation and curiosity
Making culture a priority
Implementing changes requires creating a culture that values curiosity, flexibility and bold thinking.
Teacher and student buy-in and feedback are key to creating a supportive and collaborative community.
Learning from failure and adopting a “yes” mindset encourage innovative thinking.
Make professional development worthwhile by letting teachers choose their development focus. By giving teachers control, they’ll feel like they’re not only investing in their students’ learning, but also advancing their own careers.
Students should be an integral part of the process and feel like their opinions are valued. Ask to bounce ideas off them, and keep communication channels open. For example, Dr. Griffin meets one-on-one with students in person and connects with them on Twitter.
Changing school culture doesn’t happen overnight, so be patient. For example, students didn’t understand at first why they were given more autonomy. Once they realized it was genuine, they appreciated that administrators really listened to their input — but this change took time.
Don’t be tempted by the latest trend. Reflect carefully on your core values and mission before adopting a new program or idea that’s abuzz among other administrators.
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