The purpose of our book is to share with our readers some insights we have acquired over the years in our administrative experience implementing change and reforms. Two areas that are critical for any reform to succeed are the way communications and conflicts are handled. We have included a chapter on interpersonal communications that describes five basic communication skills. We have also included a chapter on conflict with provides a number of insights on how to handle conflicts and how to avoid conflicts. Successfully dealing with communications and conflict are essential for improving levels of openness and trust
Crucial for school culture and climate are low levels of openness and trust. There is little agreement amongst faculty that they are open and trusting with each other. This creates a guarded environment where energy is being spent in a protective mode. Motivation that should go towards improving instruction is diverted to make sure teachers stay out of trouble. Improving levels of openness and trust is a thread throughout the book, as is the concept of servant leadership. If administrators and teachers are perceived as servants as opposed to self-serving, an improvement in levels of openness and trust will result.
The authors describe a number of activities for principals so they can practice the servant leadership style that is essential in order to enhance a school’s culture and climate. One of the activities addresses bullying behavior. Bullying behavior must be addressed if there is to be a positive school culture and climate.