By Jon Saphier - June 22, 2015
The strength of Adult Professional Culture is a direct predictor of how well a school will meet the educational needs of its students. So, how do you know if you have a strong adult professional culture in your school building or district?
Based on a synthesis of research over the last 30 years, I have identified the following twelve observable characteristics that are present when a strong adult professional culture is firmly in place. You can use this as a checklist to evaluate or survey your own professional culture to identify your areas of strength and weakness.
- It is safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of your colleagues?
- We engage in non-defensive self-examination of our teaching practice in relation to student results.
- We consistently use data to re-focus teaching.
- Other teachers and administrators frequently observe our teaching.
- We are continuously learning about High-Expertise Teaching.
- We engage in deep collaboration and deliberate design to facilitate interdependent work, and we take joint responsibility for student results.
- We are committed to implementing the “Smart is something you can get” mindset in classroom practice, class structures, and school policies and procedures.
- We have both urgency and press to better support academically our less advantaged students.
- We are able to have honest, open communication and difficult conversations.
- We feel appreciated and recognized as professionals.
- Our standards for teaching expertise are high and demanding for all teachers.
- Decision-making is clear and has legitimacy.