We were asked to consider what we wanted our culture to include. We were asked to think about norms, routines, and stories; “the way we do things around here.” I want to make sure to establish a a team bond and time to build relationships. My previous supervisor was a master at this. We had everything from craft time to story time to “recess” to marshmallow gun wars in the office, because while we worked incredibly hard, he knew it was important for us to build relationships beyond just the work. I’d also love to incorporate the idea of a “FailFest” in which participants share their “best” failures and how they worked to overcome the obstacles - I’ve even seen this done with an award for best failure. I want teachers to feel empowered to try new things, even if they may fail the first time.
We were asked to think about our non-negotiables; those things we would die on the hill for. For me, the non-negotiables include meaningful community and parent partnerships, as a place to start. The other would be including student voice. I loved Herzberg’s idea of a student board member. Not only does it give students a voice in a very real process, it lends authenticity and an immediate stakeholder into the conversation. Depending on the building level, there could be multiple opportunities for students to serve in advisory or leadership roles. These roles, however, need to be authentic - not ceremonial. I want to create a “sports team” environment. One in which people know their roles and captains, whether that be administrators or teacher leaders, help boost morale, communicate, and provide leadership and guidance for those around them. I want an environment where expectations are clear and participants are excited to work together toward a common goal.