What is wrong with public education? The response will vary depending on who you ask. The fact that most of us whether we are new educators or veterans can think of something we would like to see changed opens the door for powerful conversation.
I recently posted on being a cheerleader for change discussing how we engage with out students. The main focus is to build positive relationships with students and seek opportunities to be their champion and biggest supporter. We have so many opportunities to be a positive influence in their daily lives and help shape their view of school and the world. The same holds true for other groups in education.
To create a positive learning culture not only in your classroom, but throughout your school and district you have to be surrounded by positive passionate individuals who have a vision for greatness. These people have a growth mindset. A belief that we aren't there yet, but we know where we want to be and are constantly working to get there, we will take risks, make mistakes, and fail. However we will learn together and achieve amazing things.
To make true cultural change a reality, we have to embrace those who are willing to take risks and push us to new ways of thinking and doing. We have to take risks ourselves. We most definitely have to cherish every opportunity we have with students and strive to be positive influences in their lives. If we want a positive school culture we have to be willing to put in the time effort and work to do the extraordinary. We must challenge others when they are content to live in mediocrity or in Negativeville. It is our duty to be supportive of students no matter what- dislike the behavior - love the child.
Finally the group that we sometimes overlook when talking about supporting change is our administration. There are too many great administrators out there who stepped into a leadership role because they wanted to make positive change in education to name here. They took a risk in doing this and in order to allow them to achieve their vision we need to be their first followers. We need to sometimes carry the burden for them and step up to maintain that vision.