Visualize what a school with an optimum culture looks like, sounds like and feels like. What do you see, hear and feel? Most of us would say that an ideal school culture could be described as welcoming, student-centered, engaging, and one that also involves educators who have high expectations of themselves and of their students. Although educators want to do really good things for their students, they get exhausted with a plethora of variables that come with the profession of education. Juggling these many issues it is easy for educators to lose focus over time and have their passion, purpose and leadership diminished. In this book Casas maintains that the biggest challenge facing schools today is ineffective leadership, and leaders are comprised of all the stakeholders in the school, not just the administration.
Casas defines the word culturize as: “To cultivate a community of learners by behaving in a kind, caring, honest, and compassionate manner in order to challenge and inspire each member of the school community to become more than they ever thought possible.” Culturize is a great book about creating cultivating amazing school culture, a culture in which educators are focused, passionate, and aware of their purpose. At the heart of the book are the Four Core Principles of Positive School Culture: Champion for all students, Expect Excellence, Carry the Banner, and Be a Merchant of Hope. My favorite part of the book is Casas’ inspirational, personal stories, which he calls “Eyes on Culture.” These anecdotes illustrate the Four Core Principles.
This book is a great quick read for all educators looking for strategies to lift morale and avoid burn-out. At the end of each chapter Casas provides practical ideas, Culture Builders, that can be utilized to develop a transformational culture. Questions for Discussion are also provided at the end of each chapter which can be helpful for reflection and can be a tool for faculties wishing to use this book as part of a book study.
Review written by GE Instructional Coach Rick Pierce
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