Like individuals, school cultures are composed of habits and routines. Many of those habits and routines were consciously chosen and carefully cultivated. Others were not.
Most of those habits and routines—which I think of as default settings—make the school community more efficient and effective in its work. But not always.
Here are a few examples of shifts in default settings that I believe would support schools in achieving their most important goals:
• From “What should we do?” to “What do we believe?”
• From fast, superficial interactions to slow, deeper conversations
• From “cram more in” to “do less better”
• From blaming and fault finding to problem solving
• From complaining to celebrating
• From identifying deficits to consistently applying assets/strengths to achieve goals
• From advice giving to strengthening problem-solving abilities
• From a focus on individual performance to strengthening the knowledge and skills of teams and the school community for continuous improvement.
Which shifts have I missed?