School Culture is a “hot button” topic in education today. I heard of unwavering and unhappy teachers when I began teaching and coaching. The typical response from others was usually stay away from him or her, they will drag you down. So I did. I worked in isolation for those the first 6-7 years. Don’t get me wrong- I did my job and worked extremely hard at it. I was cordial with my colleagues, but I worked in isolation with the exception of my supervisors and coaches I worked with.
That was the model in education 15 years ago (at least where I was teaching). In 2011, I went to a district that was different. This district had a leadership team at each level. Those teams provided clarity, occasional conflict, trust, and committed teammates.
It was awesome! Most teachers loved coming to work everyday, like I always had. I also noticed people working together, and in turn wanting to know what I was doing that made my teams so cohesive and successful. When I had a question, problem, or concern I could go to others and seek help, and the best part: the squeaky wheels got less oil.
This Professional Learning Communities Concept was born out of necessity and great leadership. We had district administration meetings, building level leadership teams, and teacher teams. I was all in- and it wasn’t just me. Our school was flourishing in a poverty area and it was because of the culture. Teachers were more productive and more committed.”When people weigh in, they buy in.”
Cohesion among school leadership teams leads to a better school Culture. I have in worked in both isolation districts and team oriented districts. I know that I would never go back to an isolation situation as an educator. Team oriented districts allow for the following:
By building a cohesive leadership team you can build the aforementioned characteristics and grow your school or team.