Cultural Momentum

02 October 2018

In our friend’s garden is an above ground swimming pool. Over the summer my kids and I enjoyed many sunny days there splashing around, cooling off and creating whirlpools. All you need is a few friends walking with you in the same direction. You may want to start slow and get progressively faster but within a minute the coordinated movement of you and your friends have created a vortex that is hard to resist. So much so you can pick up your feet and let the water carry you around. If there are others in the garden who haven’t been there at first they may want to join in. They may jump in and let the water carry them around too. It might be that they are unaware of the work you have done in creating a whirlpool, they’re just caught up in it. Everyone that enters the pool is moved in the direction of the water. And the direction of the water was started by a committed few.


There is a culture within our schools and our classrooms.  It might be that we’ve built it intentionally or perhaps it’s an accidental byproduct of our attitude, thoughts and the many decisions we make throughout the week. We all create a culture around us as do children. The start of term can be exhausting with many children coming into our classrooms – each with their own mini-ecosystem, leaving us the challenge of creating a healthy whirlwind. Children bring their culture into our classes, but so do we.  And we’re the key culture setters. 


Take time to consider what you want the culture of your classroom to look like? Which way do you want the water to flow? Be clear about the direction you’re travelling and find others, including children, who are willing to walk in your flow of water. And as you do so you’ll create an unstoppable momentum. A vortex of “this is the way we do things around here.” 


May you travel the way of love, may others travel your way and may you have the energy to keep going until the water carries you…