Introduction: What This Tiny Book Will Do
This tiny book offers a series of steps which you can take to quickly and easily reap the massive benefits of a positive school culture.
Some books do a fantastic job of explaining a handful of concepts over the course of hundreds of pages. In some cases, where concepts are illusive or complex, this can be a huge advantage. In others, it is an excellent waste of time.
Imagine, for example, that you are hosting a breakfast gathering. Your guests are eager to enjoy some pancakes, so you pull a cookbook off the shelf and get to work. If your cookbook went out of its way to describe the action of making those pancakes by describing each individual impulse of your nervous system while stirring, the muscle contractions required to crack an egg, the physics of the force generated behind flipping a pancake, and the ongoing chemistry of the entire process, it might make for an interesting read…but it would probably be a long time before you finally got those delicious disks of golden brown goodness onto the table. Unless you happened to be hosting a collection of very enthusiastic academics, that particular cookbook might not be the best option for your purposes.
The objective of this book is to help you build positive school culture from the inside out, and it contains a collection of easy to understand concepts that focus on that objective. Specifically, it contains three powerful but simple ideas that virtually any school leader can grasp and implement immediately. It would be silly to drag these concepts out to 300 pages, especially since I’m painfully aware of how many schedule demands you have. Through my work building both TEEN TRUTH and RISING UP, I’ve seen schools around the world and I know there is one thing all of you have in common: you pour a lot of your own time into your schools, and as a busy executive myself I understand how important it is to get things done efficiently.
This book will cover topics quickly, o that you can comfortably get through each of them as you enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout a single day. It will also offer a concrete process through which you can implement these ideas, and apply them to your school. These actions will have an immediate, positive impact on your school’s culture.
Fortunately in this case the workload is actually quite light, and the benefits are tremendous. To illustrate, filling the “bucket” of school culture one drop at a time is difficult, but bringing the bucket to a water source and turning on a faucet takes much less effort by comparison, and creates a continuous benefit. With this book, I hope to show you a few of those water sources, so you can fill your school’s culture bucket, and save yourself a whole lot of time and stress while doing so.
But first, let’s make sure we understand this bucket we’re filling.