Many teachers across the country are struggling with feeling overwhelmed and wanting to leave the profession. To keep and encourage the best teachers to stay for the long haul, administrators need to demonstrate their commitment and leadership. To build resilient leadership in schools during challenging times, education leaders need to cultivate positive school cultures that encourage learning and joy. The most effective school cultures make children and adults feel seen, heard, valued, and respected.

In a recent webinar, Principal Salome Thomas-EL—Principal EL for short— of Thomas Edison Charter School in Wilmington, Delaware, shared strategies for creating joyful school cultures. These strategies include showing strong support for teachers and principals, providing specific praise, developing a learning culture, building trust, advocating for students, ensuring cultural competence, fostering resilience, connecting with teachers, bringing back the joy through creative curricula and extra-curricular activities, and engaging in random acts of kindness.

Resilient Leadership in Challenging Times: Cultivating School Cultures of Learning, Joy and Resilience,” offers 10 tried-and-true steps for school leaders. With these strategies, education leaders can create school cultures that make students and teachers feel eager to come to school every day and to stay.


Start learning the tried-and-true strategies to create a positive culture of learning and joy; download the resource, Leading for Positive School Culture and Joy.

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