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How to change school or private org culture when your the low level guy?

 I'd love to see a post on how to make a difference in school  or private org, overall culture as a teacher or low level behavior staff.  I know how to communicate trust, open communication and give people recognition myself but how do you get ur organization management and higher ups to do it.   Also how do you do it and get taken serious and not come off antagonistic to them.

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Hi Steve. I recently heard Dr. Anthony Muhuammad present his findings published in "Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Divisions" and it can be an important tool for you. I have changed some of my thinking as a result of this presentation and reading his book. He talks about 4 groups of teachers, Believers, Tweeners, Fundamentalists and Survivors. I learned that as a 'Believer', I must not remain silent when the 'Fundamentalists' try to control the informal school culture and increase the toxicity level. It's important to create collaboration between teachers who think alike (Believers) and reach out to the newbies (Tweeners) to support them. This book will make a difference in how I return to school in August. I have a first blog post about the basic idea of healthy vs toxic school culture here and will continue blogging about the different groups of teachers. Google this author, read his book. I'm sure that will help!
hey thanks for the reply. ill check it out, thanks for the help. Most things i see are administrators changing culture but id like to do something now to help not have to wait until im in charge
Hi Steve,

Never underestimate your power to change the organization from within. My advice (and it does come from first hand experience):

Be passionate about your programme and your role and translate that passion into observable success or recognition (for me it was getting to know state leaders in the field by active involvement in subject associations, publicity and promotion of what students were achieving, etc)
Be a positive hub in the organization - draw in like minded people, get them on board and celebrate your successes together, be invitational to those hovering on the edge and be very positive with the naysayers. You may never get them on board, but they will be less inclined to work against you.
Once you have built up enthusiasm amongst a group, and respect within your community, the management are more likely to sit up and take notice of your opinion.

If you are trying to change your school culture, you and a small like minded group have to be what you are trying to achieve in every possible way. I realize this sounds rather preachy - no apologies there. If you really want to effect changes, you have to be the change so others can see what it looks like and want in.

My suggestion for a great read that may help in the more immediate future is Talk It Out!: The Educator's Guide to Successful Difficult Conversations, Barbara Sanderson

It gives you a schema for planning a 'difficult conversation' with a person at your level and above your level in an organization, in such a way that the 'talk' doesn't come out as a whine or negativity. I introduced it to my staff and actually quite enjoyed when they took the brave path and came to me to have a difficult conversation about something I had planned that they could see problems with. It's a very powerful book.

Good luck!



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