Secondary students from low socioeconomic and remote settings find it challenging to reach the finish line of graduation.Yet these students are able to improve their outcomes by remarkable numbers because of change in the school culture.
But what exactly are these changes? Here is a list of those changes that can be taken by the Principal and other teaching staff.
Establishing leadership in a ‘difficult’ school
Before joining the executive team of any school, take some time to learn about the school environment. Figure out answers to questions like: What are the strengths of the school? Where the school might be lagging? What could be done to forward the growth of the school?
Challenging social contexts are difficult for staff as well as students. Recognize and verbally acknowledge every positive interaction between staff and students. Compliment people on their positive feedback. Celebrate even the smallest of successes.
Bringing students on the board
A Principal should be forward in any interaction if he wishes to build a new culture. The best way to deal with students is to empower them. That will cause less problems with discipline and achievement levels will spike. Keep the aspirations of the students always high, and nurture those who are far from meeting their goals.
You should also take care of particular behavioral offence like inappropriate language. Ask the staff to report such incidents and take care of these matters yourself. Work with the offenders personally. By this tactic, you will understand the background of the offenders and the circumstances. You will get to know the core of the problem, the real reason. This data can be used to fix the problem and reinstate the offenders.
Building on the strength of students
Another great advice is – when you are dealing with behavioral infractions, every educator must look for the strengths of the students and build on these, rather than focusing on the negative characteristics.
By encouraging students on their improvements, we can have a huge impact on how students make behavioral choices. This approach focuses on building students capacity to make good decisions. Make the students understand how everything that they put into their education can have an impact on their career and life opportunities.
Another great thing about this approach is that students should be able to demonstrate their strengths and personality in a positive way at a school.
Through this approach the students will start looking forward to assemblies and compete for opportunities to perform – a clear way to improve self-esteem.
The final piece of advice for school leaders is for the staff to develop their emotional intelligence. A positive school environment means that the staff actually listens to students by reading their body language, hearing whatever is said, apologizing when necessary, and taking extra steps to build respect with students.