Week 10: Explain and give examples to argue why the following statement is true or false: “Get the right people on your team, and get the wrong ones off.”

“A positive school culture starts at the top — with the principal. But even the most upbeat principal knows that pockets of negativity can surface and spread, sometimes slowly and quietly and other times like wildfire” (2015, Education).  This negativity seeps into the classroom and creates a disruptive atmosphere for our students.  “Careful teacher selection ensures that the school is populated by gifted educators who balance their deep caring for students and respect for families with a demand for excellence and autonomy” (2010, Doll).  By creating an environment that facilitates a positive view, we create a learning environment that students and adults want to be a part of.

Fullan described how at a single school there were extremely happy people in one area of the building and extremely unhappy people in another part of the building.  It was all dependent upon the teachers, who they worked with, and how they worked or didn’t work well together.  Those who were happy couldn’t stop commenting on how great it was to work in that environment, while others were so unhappy that they were on the verge of transferring out of the building or even leaving the teaching profession. (2014)  When the place you work at is no longer a positive environment it lowers moral and creates discourse among the workers.  Communication starts to fall apart, bickering and back stabbing start to creep into conversations, and then it starts to effect the teacher’s ability to teach as well.  In the end our students are affected.

Zakrzewski goes over the three steps to create a positive climate in schools.  First, you need to build trust after assessing the school environment.  Creating a safe, supportive school brings everyone together for a common purpose.  Second, you create a vision that is shared among staff members.  This allows for input from all, creating a positive interaction where members feel appreciated and heard.  Lastly, you work as a community to accomplish the shared vision.  When the members have created the vision there is a shared pride in achieving the school-wide goal.  If we get the “right” people on our team, great things can happen.  With the “wrong” people not only do our staff suffer, but our students suffer as well.

Works Cited

Doll, B. (2010, December). Positive School Climate. National Association of Secondary School Principals. Retrieved from http://www.nassp.org/Content.aspx?topic=Positive_School_Climate

Education World. (2015). Every School Has One: Principals Share Tips For Working With Negative People. Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin560.shtml

Fullan, M. (2014, February). Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass (pp. 51-77).

Zakrzewski, V. (2013, August 21). How to Create a Positive School Climate. Retrieved from http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_create_a_positive_school_climate

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9 thoughts on “Week 10: Explain and give examples to argue why the following statement is true or false: “Get the right people on your team, and get the wrong ones off.”

  1. Sunshine- That is a good point you make, “”When the place you work at is no longer a positive environment it lowers moral and creates discourse among the workers.” I know this is true because I have seen it. I was with a team and my coworkers where not getting along. As a result, it seeped into our meetings, it was to the point where they were talking about each other. I was neutral and said I didn’t want to here anything about each other. I do not believe in gossip and do not want to hear it. We sat down with both of them and told them that is is ok to disagree with each other in a respectful way. I think it got a little better after.  But they needed someone to mediate between them to get over this thing that was going on between them.

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    • Yes. A lot of times people just sit on the sidelines and ignore them or start up their own little conversations. That is why we need brave souls who will step up and say something to try and remedy the situation. Great job!

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  2. I don’t think wrong people get that way overnight or right away when they join any organization. It starts small, it can be influence from previous experiences, and is reinforced by the culture or lack of it in the work environment. Fullan points out that the leader’s role is to build relationships that can help to make the change process easier and motivate people to give their best. These relationships can help increase morale, create a collaborative peer learning community, and provide a support system to weather changes in the organization. I agree that a shared vision can bring shared pride and bring about great things!

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    • I totally agree Mia. You can even have a person who was “wrong” for one building and find that they are “right” for another building. That relationship, commonalities, and morale can be so defining.

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  3. “When the members have created the vision there is a shared pride in achieving the school-wide goal.” I totally agree with you, this makes a world of a difference. I’d like to add that if they didn’t agree with the goal, they need to be on a different team. I thinks this is a great motivating team factor we have to consider. Great point.

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    • I agree. That isn’t always the case though, sometimes we have to work with those who don’t agree with our goals as a school (sometimes it is even the administration that is against the entire groups thoughts). I wish those members would just remove themselves from the team, but that isn’t always something that happens. This is when we have to really work on our people skills and be open to conversations because there are probably going to be a lot of them.

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  4. Careful teacher selection is important as well as continual accountability. Some teachers are real good at selling themselves in an interview and looking good on paper, but in the classroom they are not the best fit for schools. This reminds of people complaining about teacher tenure. People complain that teacher tenure only allows bad teachers to keep their job. It’s the principals job to make sure teachers fit in their school culture and are doing their job professionally, and if they are not, something needs to be done. Getting rid of teacher tenure isn’t the solution. I think finding principals that can lead and not be afraid to face teacher issues by letting them go or putting them on a plan of improvement is the solution.

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    • I agree, and would hope that this would be the direction that people go. It is amazing how many people are just left alone because no one wants to rock the boat. Then there is the fact that some administration doesn’t even step into the classroom so they have no idea what teachers are doing, this makes it hard for them to realize what is even going on in their own buildings.

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