Creating a School Culture Where Students and Teachers Both Flourish (Part 2 of 3)

By Alison Hramiec, Head of School, Boston Day and Evening Academy
June 20, 2017

Read part one of this series.

Encourage and practice being human with all of your staff

Simple, right? Maybe not at first, but we’re all human, in this work for a reason, and it’s worth examining our hearts and minds at the beginning of each day to make sure our students’ interests, equity, and a healthy community are our priorities.

To accomplish this, I offer the following prescriptions:

  • Be humble, acknowledge when you make a mistake, publicly reflect, and practice conflict resolution: colleague to colleague, adult to student, student to student.
  • Be empathetic. Take the time to learn more about your staff, what motivates and energizes them. Don’t make assumptions. Try to learn what might be behind a student or staff’s behavior or inconsistent performance. In most cases, they are struggling with bigger issues outside of the workplace.
  • Create structured time and flexible protocols that foster collaboration, communication, and accountability. Encourage staff to share best practices and new ideas. Create unstructured time for them to take care of their professional responsibilities.
  • Create a culture that celebrates diversity, student success, staff accomplishments, and birthdays. Encourage whole-school field trips where students and staff are put together on teams and can engage with one another in playful ways.
  • As leaders—and staff—listen more, talk less.


In my next post, I’ll describe the very first step toward attaining these goals:
hiring the right people.


Alison HramiecAlison Hramiec is one the Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative‘s advisors and has spent the last 15 years re-defining what school looks like for Boston’s most at-risk high school population. Her tenure at Boston Day and Evening Academy began in 2004 as one of the founding science teachers for the Day program and in 2015 became Head of School. Through her leadership, she has helped bring clarity to the school’s competency-based program methodology, helping it become known nationwide.

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