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School Culture
Vanessa Hudson 11/24/2018 12:09 PM CST

 

Within any organization, there is an “internal world” – culture, which influences the way people interact, communicate, collaborate, and what they value as right and wrong. This inner world reflects what organizational members will and will not do, what they care about, what and how they celebrate, and so on. School is not an exception. The inner culture of school influences its professional development, productivity, traditions, and so on. Nevertheless, the culture does not develop without an external impact. The main role in this impact is played by school leaders. They define the main direction of school culture development. Although it seems that the only task of leaders is to provide all conditions for the development of positive culture, in fact, their task is to adjust culture to the modern peculiarities of life. It is necessary to create such culture within a school that retains the most important positive rules through time, but allows innovation.

Firstly, it is necessary to analyze what organizational culture and especially school culture is. Organizational culture is the “meaning individuals create in their work” (Robbins and Alvy 27). Benis explains it in such a way, “Each employee is, to a remarkable extent, the organization in miniature” (Robbins and Alvy 27). School culture also represents beliefs, values, and the assumption of a group, which can be positive or negative, strong or weak (Fiore 82). Nevertheless, they are helpful only in the educational sphere.

Every school wants to be characterized by the positive and strong culture. Nevertheless, it is not so easy to achieve this goal. Douglas Fiore points out that the main role in this case should play school leaders. There are eight rules for them to accomplish this task:

· be visible to all school stakeholders;

Many researchers have found that school leaders who are visible to stakeholders help to foster positive school culture.

· communicate purposefully and regularly;

The best school leaders use varied forms of communication to regularly provide feedback to all stakeholders.

· present effective role models for teachers, parents, staff, students, and community members to follow them;

· be passionate about the work;

The most effective school leaders seem to love the work they are engaged in. They do their best not only to create effective rules of school culture, but bring them into life.

· understand responsibility for the future;

Effective leaders do not blame others for problems at school. They take responsibility for school culture on themselves.

· keep yourself organized;

School administrators who are organized have more time for instructional leadership, personnel management, and relations between school and community.

· exhibit a positive outlook;

To create and develop a positive school culture, school leaders must consistently radiate positive energy.

· take pride in the physical appearance of the school;

Effective leaders recognize the importance of always making sure their schools have perfect conditions and look as attractive as possible (Fiore 85 – 87).

If a school leader follows all these steps, the school gains all the opportunities to have strong and positive culture which is based on history, values and beliefs, myths and stories, norms of behavior, traditions, rituals, ceremonies, and the heroes and heroines of the school (Fiore 88).

Nevertheless, a positive school culture also has some drawbacks. It is so deeply ingrained in the consciousness of school members that it becomes almost impossible to bring some innovations in it. That is why leaders should shape it. The procedure starts from analyzing the existing culture and then progressively moving to actions or behaviors that reinforce desirable values. After that, leaders should formulate new rules and encourage students and teachers to use them. The best way to do it is to show the practical value of innovation. For example, to establish a new tradition in school (e.g. day of flowers or day of care), it is necessary to promote it in the form of leaflets, posters, and performances.

In conclusion, according to analytical essay definition and other definitions, school culture can be defined as beliefs, values, and assumptions, which can be positive or negative, strong or weak. The main task in creating a positive culture in school lies on school leaders. To achieve this goal, they have to be visible to all school stakeholders, communicate purposefully and regularly, present effective role models for teachers, parents, staff, students and community members, be passionate about work, understand the responsibility for the future, keep themselves organized, exhibit a positive outlook, and take pride in the physical appearance of the school. Nevertheless, positive school culture is not the only the task of leaders. They also have to adjust school culture to modern peculiarities of life. It is possible to do so through formulating new rules and traditions of behavior, encouraging and practicing them in many ways.

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