You know the vibe when you walk into a classroom where everyone is engaged and buzzing with learning, and the room is humming with good energy? It’s not accidental. Culture takes deliberate work to build and grow. Learning is happening. Collaboration is smooth. Laughter is present.
How do we get more of that?
Building community, all day, every day
We know that a thriving learning community is essential to student success and wellbeing. And a connected class brings more joy to each school day. But how do we build and maintain an engaged, respectful, and curiosity-centered classroom culture?
Slowly. Daily. With patience, clarity, and laughter.
Community & Culture is such an important topic that we’ve written about it a lot and often. So we are especially excited to present our new Community & Culture Toolkit. Find it in it’s permanent location here.
Building the Culture & the Beginning of the Year
We all want to get off to a strong, solid start. These posts share ideas on how to build the foundation of a strong learning community from the beginning.
See also our tool kit on advisory for more ideas on how to build culture through advisory.
- Start the year with building the culture
- 8 tips for creating classroom routines and norms
- A Developmental Designs approach to student-directed learning
- The culturally responsive learning environment
- Creating community through advisory
Maintaining the culture
A positive and thriving learning culture must be tended throughout the academic year. These posts address keeping things fresh and real in pursuit of a learning community.
- Centering relationships and routines
- Change is hard, sometimes tweaking our habits can help
- How to facilitate healthy and respectful conversations
- How to have difficult conversations in the classroom
- 5 fresh ways to power up morning meetings
- How to create empathy with your community
- Finding ways to encourage student leadership
Pandemic Reflections, Reverberations, & Ripples
The pandemic may not be over, but we have certainly progressed from the early moments of 2020 when we pivoted to remote schooling. We’ve moved past the mask mandate and daily case reports, into now, the as-yet undefined third year of pandemic schooling. While many things have returned to ‘normal’, we are changed. This collection of posts by middle level expert Nancy Doda offers rumination on what we’ve learned, what’s important, and what we should still be asking ourselves.
- What matters most now: Lesson one – slow down
- What matters most now: Lesson two – Rethink what we teach
- What matters most now: Lesson three – Authenticity
- Relevance and relationships once again
A positive and collaborative adult culture is essential to a positive and collaborative student culture. As educators, we must attend to both. We believe that a thriving adult community in schools is essential, so we built a special toolkit just for that topic. Find it here!
- Laying the groundwork for effective teaching teams
- How to make meetings more effective
- 3 ways to bring positive emotional energy to your school
Food for Thought
These episodes of #vted Reads invite us to think more broadly about schooling and culture, and reflect on the implications for our practice.