An effective school culture is a positive environment that supports learning for each and every student. In a healthy school culture, there’s a belief that every student holds unique gifts and talents, and has the innate ability to be successful.

This kind of school culture isn’t always the reality, but as educators, we have the power to make it that way. If we commit to placing value in our school’s culture, take risks, embrace innovation, and place a focus on relationship-building, we can transform education.

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It won’t always be easy, but it will be worthwhile. Here are four ways to challenge the status quo to spark cultural revolution in your school.

1. Create a literacy-rich school culture

I believe that literacy is the foundation for success for all students. Literacy impacts every other subject that a student will study in school, from algebra to creative writing. And, literacy impacts students of every age – from PreK to college and beyond.

Literacy provides another important opportunity to students: to learn about their own and their peers’ cultural backgrounds. Not every student has the ability to travel, some may not have ever traveled outside of their home state, or city. But through books, reading, and creativity, students are given an avenue to explore the stories of cultures around the world, no matter their socioeconomic background.

About the Author:

Dr. Salome Thomas-EL has been a teacher and principal since 1987. He received national acclaim as a teacher and chess coach, where his students have gone on to win world recognition as Eight-Time National Chess Champions. Thomas-EL frequently speaks to groups around the country, and is the author of the best-selling books, I Choose to Stay and The Immortality of Influence, and co-authored the newly released Passionate Leadership.