Positive School Culture – You are the Key

A positive school culture is the key to success of both your staff and your students.  Yesterday, I wrote about starting the year off right with 4 tips for an amazing first day of school.  And that’s great… start the year off right.  But what about the rest of the year?  How do you maintain a positive school culture throughout the entire year?

A positive school culture for the entire school year creates an environment that will make real advances.  You, as the administrator, are the key.

Take a moment and look at every relationship that you have… spouse, children, family, friends, staff, siblings, boss, etc.


Of those relationships… which ones are great?  Which ones are positive?


Now ask yourself… in those that are great and positive relationships do they have the following?








The above three characteristics: communication, trust and respect are the three components of a positive relationship.  And from positive relationships comes a positive culture of communication, trust and respect.  So how does that relate in a school, business or organizational setting?


Here is how you keep a positive school culture throughout the year:



  • Share your expectations
  • Address process for discipline
  • Convey your philosophy of education
  • Explain decision for overall understanding
  • Participate in discussions and concerns with teachers and students
  • Publicize great work
  • Articulate specific deadlines, requirements and details.
  • Listen to concerns, stories and successes
  • Solicit suggestions and thoughts


This is where it all begins.  No hidden agendas, communication is open and flowing.  Make certain though that the communication is appropriate, there is a level of confidentiality that one must maintain as a supervisor.  But overall, keeping everyone in the loop is the first step for creating a positive team.  You want to make sure no one feels like a mushroom… always in the dark and covered with…….. MANURE.



  • Adapt to meet the needs
  • Coach those that are struggling
  • Demonstrate honesty
  • Counsel in a way that they discover next steps
  • Encourage all
  • Judge fairly
  • Speak the truth
  • Prioritize needs


Trust starts at the very beginning… you must trust that you have hired the best possible staff!  So the trust really starts with you trusting your ability to bring on the right team.  Take a look at this article that I wrote about hiring the RIGHT PEOPLE.  If you trust your decisions, then you should trust those team members to do the RIGHT THING – until they prove you wrong.  Set high expectations and then trust that they will rise to meet them.


Working for someone who does not trust you to do the job you were hired to do…. is miserable!  It erodes the entire culture of the school, organization, or business.  Trust until proven wrong.



  • Lead with a humble heart
  • Acknowledge others
  • Express the true you
  • Honor the work that is occurring in your school
  • Provide positive attention
  • Allow for disagreements/dissent
  • Create dialog


You want respect?  You’ve got to give respect!  Respect your staff and the students at your school.  Respect where they come from, the road they take to get there every morning and respect that they want you to be willing to fight for them.  Respect is earned (as you know).  So earn it.  Lead, support, praise and create the model of the positive culture you want in your school.

A positive school culture for the entire school year creates an environment that will make real advances.  You, as the administrator, are the key.

“To raise new questions, new problems, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and makes real advances’

Albert Einstein


A positive school culture is the key to success of your staff, your students and YOU!  You as the administrator ignite the culture that is comfortable enough to raise new questions, that has the communication to evaluate new problems and is respected for the ability to regard old programs, problems and challenges from new angles with creative imagination.  THAT is what makes innovation.  THAT is what facilitates implementation.  It’s you, that provides the foundation to create a culture that will make real advances.  A culture that is positive and productive throughout the entire school year.  YOU!

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