Classroom Culture Foundations

The Art and Heart of Teaching

Cohort One Comments:



"Totally worthwhile"

"I appreciated the time to allow teachers to discuss their craft in an open-ended manner."

"Loved having time to reflect on my profession; to refine my personal philosophy."

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Happy Teachers! Happy Students!

We are looking to grow more engaging learning environments where teachers and students thrive.

We formed a bond with our first cohort of teachers in "Foundations: The Art and Heart of Teaching". They left refueled and hopeful, having spent time together reflecting on who they are and what they value around teaching and learning. We explored important belief sets (work vs learning; knowing vs. understanding; deep vs surface learning; independence vs dependence; growth vs fixed mindset); reflected on student voice and where/how to intentionally lift student status in the classroom. Discussions around building community and growing relationships were meaningful.

Each participant created and refined their own question of inquiry related to the culture in their classroom. Experienced teachers came with mentees and will embark upon a three year journey of cultural transformation together, with us. They will become part of Oakland Schools' Classroom Culture Referent Group, informing our work; emerging as county leaders in this arena. Opportunities to beta test the Classroom Environment Modules on MiPlace are being explored.


  • Student and teacher engagement is directly related to the classroom culture
  • "Classroom management" difficulties dissipate when teachers are intentional about culture and student voice
  • Teacher evalution around classroom culture can be harnessed for growth and promise
  • Juggling beliefs with current educational pressures can be draining; embracing what is in our circle of control can be freeing

Come DARE GREATLY with us!

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”—

Theodore Roosevelt.

Classroom Culture Foundations: The Art and Heart of Teaching

Cohort 2: March 9th and March 28th, 2016

8:30 am to 3:00pm @ Oakland Schools Room 250

$35 includes lunch, snacks and materials

Registration link is here!


· Dilts, R.B. (2014) A Brief History of Logical Levels of Change .

· Katz, S. and Dack, L. (2013). Intentional Interruption: Breaking Down Learning Barriers to Transform Professional Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin

· Palmer, P.J. (2007) The Courage To Teach. San Francisco: Wiley.

· Palmer, P.J. (2007) The Courage to Teach Guide for Reflection and Renewal. SanFrancisco: Wiley.

· Ritchhart, Ron (2015). Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

· Shirky, Clay (2012 ) Community: A Brief History of Participatory Culture.

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