Creative Strategies to Transform School Culture

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The authors present practical, proven strategies to improve school culture, including activities for developing collaborative work relationships, dealing appropriately with conflict, and fostering rapport.
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Editorial Reviews

Darryl L. Williams
“A clear, consistent focus.”
Leslie A. Standerfer
“Focused, to the point, and direct—a quick read for a busy principal looking for ideas.”
Boyd Dressler
“Principals at all levels will find this book valuable. It translates espoused theories of climate and culture into practical ideas.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412961172
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 7/8/2009
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

John Eller has had a variety of experiences in working with adults over the years he has been in education. His experiences include work educational leaders at Virginia Tech University, developing teacher leaders in a Maters program, serving as the Executive Director of Minnesota ASCD, work as a principal’s training center director, a position as an assistant superintendent for curriculum, learning, and staff development, and several principal positions in a variety of settings. In addition to the work he does in training and supporting facilitators, John also does work in the areas of dealing with difficult people, building professional learning communities, employee evaluation, conferencing skills, coaching skills, strategic planning strategies, school improvement planning and implementation, differentiated instruction, leadership for differentiation, employee recruitment, selection, and induction, supervisory skills, and effective teaching strategies.

He has his PhD. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Loyola University-Chicago and his MS in Educational Leadership from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. John has authored books on substitute teaching, wrote The Training Video Series for the Professional School Bus Driver, The principals’ Guide to Custodial Supervision contributes articles for the publication Superintendents Only. He wrote Effective Group Facilitation in Education: How to Energize Meetings and Manage Difficult Groups, and co-authored So Now You’re the Superintendent, the best selling, Energizing Staff Meetings and Creative Strategies to Improve School Culture all through Corwin Press.

Sheila Eller has worked in a multitude of educational settings during her career. In addition to her current position as a principal in the Fairfax County Virginia Public Schools, she has served as a middle school principal in the Moundsview Minnesota School District, as a principal in other schools in Minnesota and Illinois, as a university professor, as a Special Education Teacher, a Title I Math Teacher, and a self-contained classroom teacher in grades 1-4. Sheila has also been a member of the Executive Board of Minnesota ASCD and has been a regional president of the Minnesota Association of Elementary School Principals. She has advanced coursework in educational administration and supervision from St. Cloud State University, her Master’s Degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and a Bachelors Degree from Iowa State University.

Sheila is a regular presenter at the ASCD National Conventions sharing her expertise on the topic of effective staff meetings and multiage instruction. While she served as a professor at National-Louis University in Evanston Illinois, she worked on the development team for a classroom mathematics series that was adopted by several districts in the region. Her classroom and instructional techniques were featured on a video that was produced as a complement to this series. She works with educators in developing energized staff meetings, school improvement initiatives, multiage teaching strategies, employee supervision, and other teaching and learning content areas. In addition to this book, Sheila co-authored the best-selling Energizing Staff Meetings and Creative Strategies to Improve School Climate. through Corwin Press.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors
1. Culture and Climate
About This Chapter
School Climate Versus Culture
Rapport, Trust, Climate, Culture, and Their Interrelationship
The Importance of Trust
Building and Sustaining Organizational Trust
Strategies to Build Trust and Impact School Climate
2. Diagnosing the Present Climate and Culture of Your School
About This Chapter
Informal Diagnostic Strategies
Formal or Structured Diagnostic Instruments
Planning Templates
3. Building the Foundation for Success
About This Chapter
Working With the Office Staff
Strategy: Planning and Developing an Effective Office Staff
Creating a Positive Physical Environment for Staff
Strategy: Through These Doors
Welcoming Staff Back to School
Activity: Getting to Know Your Teachers and Staff
Activity: Welcome Back Barbeque
Refreshments for Staff
Business Cards for Staff
Name Plates for Teachers
Positive Message
First Day Survival Kit
Ice Cream Social Event
Breakfast for Staff
Wrapping Up the Classroom
Book Fair Gifts
4. Building an Emotional Base for Your Climate and Culture Improvements
About This Chapter
Activity: Measuring Their Impact
Activity: I Remember When...
Activity: Descriptive Footwear
Activity: The Boot Award
Activity: Jack-O-Lanterns
Activity: Block of Support
Activity: Artifact Introductions
Activity: The Thank You Blitz
Activity: Candle Ceremony
Activity: Bag of Positive Phrases
Activity: Spread the Word
Activity: Reward With a Smile
Activity: A Novel Staff
Activity: Floating or Traveling Trophy
Activity: Jelly Bean Questions
Activity: Snowball Fight
5. Staff Meeting Starters to Build Culture
Activity: Good News
Activity: Human Bingo
Activity: Who's Connected
Activity: My Piece of the Pie
Activity: I'm a Card
6. Activities to Couple With Tasks and Decisions
About This Chapter
Activity: Future Set
Activity: Carouseling
Strategy: Leafing Out With Goal Attainment
Activity: Comparison Diagram
Activity: Buy What Is Most Important
Activity: It's a Star
Activity: Criteria Rating
Activity: Progressive Problem Solving
Activity: From My Perspective
Activity: Ripple Effects
Activity: Small Group Ripple Effects
Activity: Sticky Note Ripple Effects
Activity: Ripple Effects Contest
Activity: Carousel Ripple Effects
7. Building a Sense of Team
About This Chapter
Interdependence, Community, and Their Impact on School Climate and Culture
Activity: Toxic Waste Transfer
Activity: Figure It Out
Activity: Communication Problems
Activity: All Tied Up
Activity: Passing the Hoop
Activity: Building a Poker Hand
Activity: Hula Hoop Relays
Activity: Circle of Support
Activity: Rising Tower
Activity: It Takes a Village
8. We're Not Getting Along; Now What?
About This Chapter
The Nature of Conflict
Activity: Pack Up Your Baggage
Activity: Parking Lot Meeting
Activity: Transfer the Anger
Activity: Ashes to Ashes
Activity: Go to Your Corners
Activity: Corner on Perspectives
Activity: Victory Laps
Activity: Half-Full or Half-Empty
Activity: Compare our Perspectives
Activity: Peeling the Onion
Mediating Between Conflicting Parties
Productive Influence of Conflict on a Team
Conflict and Chaos
9. Celebrating Your Success
About This Chapter
Strategy: Planning the Celebration at the Start of the Initiative
Activity: High Fives
Activity: Banana Splits
Activity: Gallery Walk
Strategy: Trophy Case Displays
Strategy: Get Out of Duty Cards
Strategy: Success Thermometer
10. Supporting Climate and Cultural Change as a Leader
About This Chapter
Step 1: Understand Your Strengths, Weaknesses, and Inhibitions
Step 2: Build a Seedbed
Step 3: Plant the Seeds
Step 4: Nurture Them, Watch Them Grow
Step 5: Pull the Weeds
Step 6: Harvest the Crop
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