I am sure you have all heard about organisational culture, what about classroom culture? What is the point anyway? So much information regarding culture has been researched and how to implement this within different organisations. John Kotter discusses his 8-step model to implement effective corporate change, this has been adapted to assist teachers in changing the culture in the classroom.
If you are interested in reading about the 8 step model check out this link
Step 1: Get the whole classroom excited:
In order for effective change, you need the buy in from the students. They need to see the long-term benefits and advantage of how the classroom will be operating. The values that you and the class deem to be the most important; perhaps even consider a slogan that you can refer too and use in the classroom as a reminder.
Step 2: Let senior managers know
The Headteacher will be a great addition to this initiative. By having the extra support the class will see that the project is valid and that the school sees the benefit. Now would be the time to identify pupils who display the leadership qualities and influence that will support the endeavour. The class will then have a hierarchy that will filter down.
Step 3: Communicate the values and ethos
A constant reminder and reference to the values instils them. The vision you have been able to discuss needs to be reiterated on a regular basis. The main instrument to implement is your own behaviour, you need to “walk the talk”; if you do this and hold yourself by the same standards everyone will feel that the vision is fair and equal for all.
Step 4: Create situations for praise
Being able to praise behaviour promotes success. By opening up the focus to positive behavioural change that is validated by you, the class will encourage others that have bought into the premise to continue with the positive classroom cultural initiative.
Step 5: Set goals for the class and individuals
Goal setting for the class and pupils allows the long-term groundwork to take root. Pupils will know exactly what is expected and how this will be achieved. This also allows for differentiation and parents will likely want to be involved knowing the benefits you plan on seeing. Goals will give the students something to work towards, a visual for this is always a beneficial tool to keep them on track.
Step 6: Anchor your changes
Success stories and progress being spoken about solidifies the groundwork. Make sure that all pupils know how your classroom functions, this way future classes know exactly what they are in for. The success you have will filter through to other classrooms.