2Dear Diary,Please allow every teacher to realize what awesome power they hold in their hands and that they are the doors through which whole new worlds of possibility can open for their students. That by understanding students, day to day, and not judging them or shutting out the many opportunities for their success teachers can, and often do, make all the difference Sandi Redenbach (Autobiography of a Dropout)
4The finest gift we can give our children is our heartfelt belief that they can succeed. Lawrence W. Lezotte
5CultureA complex pattern of norms, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, values, ceremonies, traditions, and myths that are deeply ingrained in the very core of the organization.
6Why is culture important? It influences and shapes the way teachers, students, and administrators think, feel, and act.
7Culture and Effectiveness “At a deeper level, all organizations, especially schools, improve performance by fostering a shared system of norms folkways, values, and traditions. These infuse the enterprise with passion, purpose, and a sense of spirit. Without a strong, positive culture, schools flounder and die.”(Peterson and Deal, 2002)
8Culture is a powerful force that exists in any organization in which people share some history. It develops as people work together, solve problems, cope with conflicts, achieve successes, and deal with tragedy. (Schein, 1985; Deal and Peterson,1999)8
9Take 2 minutes at your tables and choose a song that would describe how your school currently works together to solve problems, cope with conflicts, achieve successes and deal with tragedy.
10Elements of Culture Norms, Values and Beliefs Symbols and Artifacts Stories that Herald ValuesCultural NetworkRituals, Traditions, and Ceremonies10
11School Culture influences : FOCUS-what people pay attention toCOMMITMENT-how they identify with the schoolMOTIVATION-how hard they workPRODUCTIVITY-degree to which they achieve their goals
12Positive vs. Toxic Culture Think about your school or county system:Is improvement important?How motivated is everyone to work hard?How do people feel when students do not perform well?What do we talk about in public or in private?How much support to innovative colleagues receive?Do we believe all students can learn?Do we feel student capacity is determined by background?Is your daily work a calling or a job?
13Positive vs. ToxicTake 2 minutes at your table to develop a list of six adjectives that would describe the culture of your school.
14Teachers and students are more likely to succeed in a culture that fosters hard work, commitment to valued ends, an attention to problem solving, and a focus on learning for ALL students.
15Key Roles of Cultural Leaders READ the Culture Historian and Anthropologist ASSESS the Culture Analyst and Evaluator REINFORCE or TRANSFORM the Culture Visionary, Symbol, Potter, Poet, Actor, and Healer (Deal and Peterson, 1994; 1999)15
16Failure is not an option! If you keep doing what you have always done, you will continue to get the same results.Edward Deming
17Elements of Toxic Cultures Negative Values and beliefs hold sway in toxic cultures.Sense of purpose is spiritually fragmented.Relationships are negative and destructive.The cultural network’s most powerful members negaholics (Carter-Scott, 1989)The only heroes are anti-heroic.Few positive rituals, traditions, or ceremonies exist to develop a sense of community and hopefulness.Deal and Peterson (1999).17
18Elements of Positive Professional Cultures: 1. Share strong norms of collegiality and improvement.Parallel playAdversialCongenialCollegialIt is not enough to be busy. The question is: “What are we busy about?” Henry David Thoreau
19Strong Professional Cultures: Value student learning over personal easeAssume ALL children can learn if they—teachers and staff—find the curriculum and instructional strategies that work.
20In effective schools, the culture reinforces the collaborative problem solving, planning, and data-driven decision making.
21We don’t choose our challenges… They choose us… We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. We already know more than we need-to do that. Whether or not we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven’t so far. Larry Lezotte
22We can talk or dream about the glorious schools of the future or we can create them Marilyn Ferguson22