The role of a school principal is essential. From helping cultivate a positive and motivating atmosphere, to inspiring educators and staff to buy into a shared vision, these individuals often set the foundation for collective success throughout each academic year.
At the National Inventors Hall of Fame®, we believe that one of the most effective ways to establish a positive learning environment is to embrace a culture of creativity and engagement. Read below for a few strategies that can help you cultivate this type of environment in your school.
1. Promote Diversity and Community
The cultural and personal differences within a student body are what make it special. To strengthen students’ connections with one another, consider organizing assemblies and events that celebrate and promote the importance of inclusivity. These events could celebrate and showcase different cultures, traditions and perspectives. Additionally, try encouraging your students to join clubs and peer mentorship programs to further promote an inclusive community.
2. Invest in Professional Development
Research has long shown that effective professional development for educators can help create a “powerful and positive school community.” Given the historic amount of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds available to districts across the country, many continue to invest in their teachers by using these resources to purchase professional development opportunities. While there exist many different types of professional development programs, ones that promote hands-on learning and deliver actionable strategies to enhance student engagement are ideal.
3. Involve Your Local Community
Collaborating with local businesses and organizations is a great way to help students understand the relevance of the subjects they’re exploring in the classroom. Inviting guests from different organizations to share their experiences and insights can go a long way in helping to build students’ excitement for different career fields. This also can boost engagement, leading to improved academic outcomes.
4. Encourage Cross-Disciplinary Learning
As the world’s greatest inventors will attest, many of the most important and impactful innovations are the result of divergent ideas that borrow from a variety of disciplines. You can jump-start this type of thinking in your students by inviting teachers to collaborate with colleagues who teach different subjects (e.g., a history teacher teaming up with a science teacher) and developing curricula that allow students to see the connections between a range of subjects.
5. Explore Invention Education
Invention education challenges students to solve real-world problems by building their own invention prototypes. In its most authentic form, this hands-on pedagogy helps students develop a mindset that unlocks their potential through creative problem solving, collaboration, intellectual property knowledge and persistence, which will benefit students throughout their lives. Incorporating invention education throughout the school day, or in afterschool or summer programs, is an effective way to spark curiosity, creativity and a lifelong love of learning and discovery.
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Looking for additional ways to boost creativity and excitement in your school? We invite you to visit our website.