Not long ago I found myself reverting back to the behaviors and words of a poor culture. For years I worked with some who forwarded a less than positive work culture--rather than a culture based on mutual care and benefit, it was a culture of trickery and confusion.
Fortunately that culture has changed considerably creating a much more honest, transparent, and focused culture. I am so thankful for this, and find that I have to update my actions, words, and expectations accordingly. For example, recently I acted as I often had to act during the old culture--actions that included stronger words, less trust, and reliance on favors rather than a shared focus on what is right and good. My actions were questioned which woke me up once again to the positive changes at hand, changes that are not content with work motivated by singular ambition rather than a positive, collective mission.
I am delighted to experience this change and the positive challenges it brings, challenges that include more transparency, greater collaboration, deeper professional learning, and an evolution to more student-friendly modern teaching and learning.
What is my role in this positive culture change?
First, I need to be mindful of positively evolving my language and work. We don't have to be sarcastic, caustic, snarky, or tough. Instead we can be loving, kind, truthful, and curious. Questions are welcome and new ideas considered.
Next, my focus needs to be a focus on how I can do my work best on my own and with others. There is a deepening collaborative aspect to this new culture, an aspect that includes more and better teacher voice, choice, and leadership. There's definitely room for greater change, but this is a good start.
And I have to commit to continual learning especially learning within my spheres of impact which are mostly SEL, math education, and science education--areas I will invest in to better the work I can do with and for the children, families, and colleagues in my teaching/learning community.
I am not coming home with anger or tears on a daily basis anymore. I am not concerned about gossip, secrets, and what appeared to be unjust acts of cronyism and distrust of the past. I am positively motivated to do my part, speak up with respect, and act for betterment. I need to update my language and collaboration too so that I meet this good culture with positivity and investment.
Are things perfect? Of course not--there's always room for betterment. Are things better? Yes, much better and I am so grateful for this.