11 Guaranteed Ways to Build a Positive School Culture

It’s the little things that make the biggest impact

happy classroom - making positive school culture

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!

3 Ways to Develop Positive School Culture Just By Being You

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.

Changing Teacher Feedback to Improve School Culture

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!

Worried About Your School Culture? How to Start a Bullying Prevention Program

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.

12 Ways to Build Student Ownership of School Culture

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.

5 Ways Schools Can Build Positive Relationships With Parents (Even Tough Ones)

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.

The Effect of a Great Principal on School Culture

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?

5 School Culture Lessons From Preschoolers

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.

Tips for Measuring & Analyzing Improvement in Your School Culture

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.

3 Innovative Ways EdTech Can Build Positive School Culture

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.

School Lunch is About More than Serving Food, it’s about School Culture

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!

This School-Wide Writing Celebration Should Be Your Next Big Thing

Posted by Lauren Brown West-Rosenthal

Lauren West-Rosenthal is a senior editor at WeAreTeachers. In the fourth grade, she started writing "bonus chapters" to her favorite books. Her teacher was impressed -- and encouraging -- and a vast writing career was born!

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