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3 SIMPLE Steps to Changing the Culture and Climate of Your Classrooms

3 SIMPLE Steps to Changing the Culture and Climate of Your Classrooms

By Dr. Debbie Emery

5 years ago

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Education 

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CKHButton   In this video:

(0:54) 3 Simple Steps to Changing Your Classroom Culture and Climate

(1:16) Simple Step #1: Implement an Uncomplicated Behavioral System

(2:05) Perry Bell, Superintendent, Gause ISD, Texas on Simple Step #1

(2:45) Susan Simpson-Hull, Superintendent, Grand Prairie ISD, Texas on Simple Step #1

(3:02) Simple Step #2: Enroll Your Entire Community from the Board Member to the Bus Driver

(3:31) Perry Bell, Superintendent, Gause ISD, Texas on Simple Step #2

(4:32) Simple Step #3: Measure and Monitor Behavior Consistently

(4:57) Jerry Jennex, Superintendent, Globe ISD, Arizona on Simple Step #3

(5:42) Exclusive Invitation for Administrators

Hi, I’m Dr. Debbie Emery, Leadership Process Executive with The Flippen Group and consultant to 100s of school district leaders around the country. Today I want to show you how to change your campus culture and climate in 3 simple steps. Not easy, but simple.

Teachers face a formidable challenge. The typical classroom comprises more than twenty students with diverse family backgrounds, expectations for behavior, and cultural vocabularies, randomly assembled into a cohort and required to learn together. Too often, the impact of peer pressure and outside influences create a culture and climate in the classroom that passively or EVEN ACTIVELY resists learning.

SO, wait a minute, Debbie! Didn’t you just say that I can change my campus culture and climate in 3 SIMPLE steps?

Yes, that’s right. While it’s true that you can’t always control what comes into your classrooms, you CAN create an environment that converts classrooms into high-performing centers of learning and it’s not complicated.

Here, then, are the 3 SIMPLE Steps to changing the culture and climate of your classrooms:

  1. Implement an Uncomplicated Behavioral System
  2. Enroll Your Entire Community from the Board Member to the Bus Driver
  3. Measure and Monitor Behavior Consistently

Let’s discuss each of these AND hear some innovative educators explain how they’ve done it on their campuses.

Number one:

1. Implement an Uncomplicated Behavioral System

Let’s work backwards on this one.

You need a SYSTEM. I’m not talking about a once-and-done professional development activity for your staff based on the latest fad or trend. I’m talking about a systemic process that gets followed day-by-day and semester-by-semester over a period of years.

The system must specify which BEHAVIORS by students and staff are acceptable and which ones are not.

And the system must be UNCOMPLICATED. No one will follow it if they can’t remember it. Albert Einstein said it this way, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” There is tremendous genius in a simple system.

Here’s what Superintendents Perry Bell and Susan Simpson-Hull had to say about how they implemented this step using the process we call Capturing Kids’ Hearts™:

“The process is easy. It’s not complicated. How we question students, shake their hand, have a social contract and self manage instead of being a ‘reacting’ campus. Even in staff development I model the EXCEL method — how we deal with each other and with parents. It goes even into the home. We take these skills into the home.”

Perry Bell, Superintendent, Gause ISD, Texas

“When I went through the training myself, I could see the transformation in other people and the excitement of having something real to take back to the classroom. I could see the value of doing away with the old teacher list of things that you do wrong and the list of consequences. And making students responsible for their own behavior and their own learning. Those are the things that teachers with ‘kid magic’ naturally do.”

Susan Simpson-Hull, Superintendent, Grand Prairie ISD, Texas

Number two:

2. Enroll Your Community from the Board Member to the Bus Driver

Every single person in your district and on your campus is important in this process. With every movement, gesture, and spoken word, each person on your staff shapes your culture and climate by either increasing or diminishing a sense of safety and connectedness, which enables learning.

Here’s what Superintendent Perry Bell had to say about how he implemented this step using the process we call Capturing Kids’ Hearts:

“My recommendation is to do it as a whole. Get everybody in there together or it’s not going to work. I was at a consortium of superintendents and I was excited. Someone said they tried it. They had someone go and bring it back. But it just fizzled out. The problem is that it has to be a whole system doing it together.

This year I brought the whole learning community in. School board, community parents’ groups, substitutes, cafeteria, bus workers. We brought them all in so we could speak a common language.The biggest problem was that we spoke different languages in the classroom, in the bus, the cafeteria. This brought everybody in to speak the same language and have the same processes.”

Perry Bell, Superintendent, Gause ISD, Texas

Number three:

3. Measure and Monitor Behavior Consistently

It’s been said that you treasure what you measure. As you implement your uncomplicated behavioral system with your entire educational community, you must then measure and monitor the behavior to ensure fidelity of implementation over the long term.

Here’s what Superintendent Jerry Jennex had to say about how they implemented this step using the Capturing Kids’ Hearts (CKH) process.

“All of our preschool staff came through the program. We’ve trained about 90% of our staff in all areas in CKH: bus drivers, cooks, custodians, teachers, administrators. So our preschool staff had been through the training. My wife is a preschool teacher and a parent came in and said, ‘I took my little boy to the doctor and he stuck his hand out and said, ‘Good morning, how are you?’ The doctor was blown away and the doctor asked, ‘Where did you learn that?’ and the kid said, ‘We do it at school every day.’ My wife said, ‘I know that’s the result of the work we’re doing with CKH.’ ”

Jerry Jennex, Superintendent, Globe ISD, Arizona

Wow! Such powerful examples of what it actually looks like when you change your campus culture and climate!

The widespread impact of Capturing Kids’ Hearts reads like a wish list for school administrators. If you’re committed to building an exceptional culture and climate in your school and district, then learning more about the Capturing Kids’ Hearts process is your ideal next step.

This three-day immersion experience for administrators and teachers provides the skills and training necessary to establish a self-governing classroom environment. We take teachers who are frustrated and discouraged and equip them with the tools they need to turn “problem” classrooms into problem-solving havens of learning.

If you are new to our process and would like to find out how Capturing Kids’ Hearts can help you improve student achievement, decrease discipline referrals, increase both attendance and graduation rates, and skyrocket teacher satisfaction, then we want to offer you two full-tuition scholarships to attend Capturing Kids’ Hearts.

These scholarships are on a first come, first served basis and spaces are limited. Click the button below to apply for yours today. Experience the workshop yourself, and catch the vision of what can be done with your schools!

Take care and I’ll see you soon.



Dr. Debbie Emery

Dr. Debbie Emery is a Leadership Process Executive with Flippen Group and brings her passion for teaching, leading and coaching to our team as a trainer and consultant. Born and raised in Texas, she has served in public education for 30 years, the last seven as an associate superintendent in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, one of the largest districts in the country. As a campus principal and district administrator, she learned firsthand the difference Flippen processes could make for her team, and these experiences continue to help her coach others. She received both a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Houston. She also received a master’s degree in library science from Sam Houston State University, where she taught ‘The Role of the Principal’ to future administrators. Dr. Emery and her husband, Karl, live in Houston, Texas, and enjoy spending time with family and friends and traveling to exciting places. She looks forward to spending time with the students and staff at Emery Elementary in the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, a school named in her honor.

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