Rebuilding School Culture? We’re Going to Make It!
Most of the time this blog contains a handy list of actions, or a tip on how to nudge school culture toward a more positive place. Most of the time, I’ll bet you try to do it. Even if you don’t always try every little thing we suggest, I know that those of you who read this blog want to make things better. It’s the thing we all have in common: we want to improve this world in which we live.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our actions don’t play out. Sometimes, no matter how meticulously we list our plans, they don’t come together. Sometimes we trip at the finish line. Sometimes just starting feels impossible. Sometimes we want to hide, or cry, or just stay under the blankets when our alarm clock goes off. Sometimes we get up full of enthusiasm, but lose track of it as we fight our way through an endless barrage of inconveniences.
Sometimes life is just so damn hard.
But I’m going to tell you something now which, I think, is more important than all the practical and systematic advice we’ve put out over the years, and more powerful than all our struggles.
By desiring to improve things – simply by wanting things to get better – we will make it so. We might not always know exactly how, and we’ll surely make mistakes along the way, but the intention itself is truly the only aspect out of all of this that really matters. For that reason, we’re going to make it.
When I see teachers trying their best to actively listen to their students, and administrators who want nothing more than to cut through all the red tape so that they can give their people the support they need, and communities coming together to offer just a little bit more help to schools, I think to myself, “We’re going to make it.”
Take a moment to imagine what it means to you when I say, “We’re going to make it.” Through all of our flaws, human beings have an uncanny ability: if we can imagine it, we can usually figure out a way to make it real. Imagine it. Picture in your mind what it means to you when I say, “We’re going to make it.”
I’ll bet all of the people who read this blog are imagining something very similar. I’ll bet if we all wrote it out and shared it, we’d agree on all of the key points – the stuff that really matters. How many others are picturing that bright future right now? A hundred? A thousand? What if I told you it was close to 3.5 million people?
That’s right. There are (give or take) 3.5 million people in the United States alone who have decided to try to make this world just a little better, and have realized the best way to do it is through education. You aren’t alone. There are a lot of us, and all of us are trying to improve things, even if it’s only a little bit at a time. And so I say, with unshakable conviction, we’re going to make it.
P.S. When you are ready, there are three great ways that we can support your school culture efforts this semester…
#1 – Host a campus relationships workshop for staff.
#2 – Book school assemblies for your students.
#3 – Offer an SEL focused leadership summit to your campus.
JC Pohl, LMFT
President & CEO, TEEN TRUTH