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The Staffroom Podcast S1E14: Administration and School Culture

The Staffroom Podcast with Chey and Pav Season 1 Episode 14: Administration and School Culture


In Episode 14 of The Staffroom, Chey and I talk about what qualities we look for from the Administration in order to foster a positive school culture. We discuss 5 different qualities that we would like to see in the school leadership team, so that the students get the best possible experience from their day.

The first item is Permission to be Vulnerable. Teachers want to know that their Principals and Vice-Principals are okay with teachers making mistakes in the classroom, because mistakes are a signal to show that they have tried something difficult and perhaps outside the box. It’s okay that it may not have gone right, but they made an effort to make a positive change, and potentially build relationships, and that is what is most important.

The second is Trust, and allowing teachers to have Voice. Teachers all have valuable and valid ideas, and good things come out of allowing teachers to run the show the way that they want to run it. We want our administrators to be able to recognize that we have a voice, and we have the best intentions at heart for our students, and therefore we want to be able to exercise our ideas in our own spaces.

5 Leadership Qualities to Build Positive School Culture

The third item on our list is relationship building. Teachers appreciate the basic pleasantries from their administrators. These check-ins are meaningful and always help teachers feel more at ease with their day. Just as we want to be able to create positive relationships with our students, we also appreciate when our office staff is able to create those sorts of meaningful relationships with us.

Freedom is the fourth item on the list. Teachers often have great ideas, but aren’t given the freedom from their administration to act on their ideas. Teachers should be allowed to do some things outside our mainstream classroom boxes so that students gain rich experiences. When Administrators want to see classrooms run in their own way, it is micromanaging, and we feel strongly that micromanagement from the top down is what kills a lot of creativity in classrooms.

Lastly, item number 5 on our checklist of effective Administration qualities is Vision. Administrators need to have a clear, passionate and student-driven and focused vision. If the admin team has a strong, cohesive and clear vision, teachers will buy in, and they will work hard for it.

We go on in our episode to introduce our “3 Enlightened Minutes” guest, The Punk Rock Classroom Podcast. We welcome Michael Earnshaw and Joshua Buckley, the principal and teacher combo, and their podcast that tests the mainstream and brings some Punk into their classrooms.

Towards the end of the episode, we provide some real classroom examples from our experiences with many different administrators in the past, how our list of effective qualities works and how we can potentially put it into action.

“Remember to Inspire, don’t Require, and always be a Humble Servant.”

Contact info for 3 Enlightened Minutes Guests:

The Punk Rock Classroom Podcast at:

Twitter: @PunkClassrooms

Michael Earnshaw: @mearnshaw158 

Joshua Buckley: @joshRBuckley

Chey and Pav, two experienced middle school teachers from the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, Canada, take listeners through the in’s and out’s of the field of Teaching, Learning and Leadership. Through their anecdotal, yet often comedic banter, laced with caring insightfulness, they take their audience into a conversation that is surely eye-opening and entertaining, while tackling some of the real, and ever-changing issues that exist in Education. Come join Chey and Pav; partake in the Staff Room chatter that all teachers and educators can connect with.

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