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Creative Strategies to Transform School Culture


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments 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 Summary 2. Diagnosing the Present Climate and Culture of Your School About This Chapter Informal Diagnostic Strategies Formal or Structured Diagnostic Instruments Planning Templates Summary 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 Summary 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 Summary 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 Summary 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 Summary 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 Summary 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 Summary 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 Summary 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 Summary References Index

About 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.


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

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