Culture Shift – Christmas Special

Notes on key themes from my keynote 10/12/14 at #TMSnowball.

Dressed as Santa (not my idea, blame @abbey4man and @Hermitage_E) I wanted to share some simple ways to improve the culture in school which can be done by anyone. Culture isn’t just for leaders after all, we’re all part of it.

Before that were the naughty and nice lists…

Naughty List
If you want my cynicism and political commentary you’ll need to see me in person, I’m not writing that stuff down;)

Nice List
Those who empower: We all know people like these whose kind words allow you to achieve more than you thought possible. Thank you for the encouragement you give to people to allow them to be better.

The thinkers: Wonderful people pushing new ideas and refining old ones, making sure they’re never satisfied as they seek the holy grail of education for all of us.

The sharers: Those who give so freely, sharing their ideas, support and advice; reminding us that we’re all on the same side in education.

The future: My final focus on the nice list…the future teachers. I really do admire those starting off in our profession full of passion and determined to change young people’s lives. My personal advice to you, stay that way and the job will always be special.

Now for some quick ideas about how you can change your school culture…

A smile isn’t just for Christmas; it’s ok to be nice to people all year round. As much as I love teaching it’s a tough job, a lot of work and a lot of hours. It’s a hugely emotional job because as teachers we care so much about what we do. If you think that’s true then why not smile, be nice and make life a little easier for those around you. We’re all on the same team.

Always be generous, it’s a trait valued by so many cultures and celebrated during this festive season, but how can your generosity help in schools?

Time: If someone comes to you for support, give them your time. Make them your number one priority right there, or if you can’t make a time where you can. They’ve chosen you, make sure you earn that trust.
(@MrHumanities gave me that great piece of advice.)

Ideas: You’re not going to change the world if you keep it all in your head. If you share ideas it’s good for others and good for you; your colleagues will support you, offer refinements and suggest challenges. Sharing an idea is a great way to make it a better one.

Compassion: Care, and show that you care. Life can be hard, whether it’s students or colleagues it costs nothing to show they matter to you but it counts for a lot.

Send Cards
I’m assuming that many of us send cards at this time of year; why not make some of them really count. Use a few of those cards to send a special message to one or two of your colleagues who make a difference to you. Make sure you tell them exactly why you appreciate them, they deserve to know. If you don’t do Christmas cards you can always buy a pack of notecards and send those instead.

Finally we finished with a game you can play too…

Your challenge is to tell a Christmas story using only 12 words. It’ll fit on a tweet if you want to join in on the hashtag or you could even use it as a fun competition in school.

Barry Dunn – @SeahamRE



One comment

  1. gwenelope · December 14, 2014

    Reblogged this on The Echo Chamber.


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