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School Culture By Design

During 30+ years of wandering the continent, visiting schools and listening to school people share their joys and frustrations, Phil Boyte has learned a lot about building great school culture. In this podcast you will hear examples Phil has seen work to enhance school culture, stories from some of his heroes in education, and simple ideas to start implementing on your campus today! We invite you along on this listening journey. You will hear simple and transformative stories about building community, vulnerability, and trust on your campus. No matter what role you play, we believe everyone has a hand in creating a school no one will want to leave.
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Now displaying: 2022
Nov 22, 2022

Guest Dr. Robert McBride, Superintendent of Lockport Township High School District 205, shares three ways leaders can build trust. Hear his examples of scheduling time to be present and available, being fully transparent, and teaching others to cultivate a culture of trust. Plus, try the “Fun Facts” activity by asking someone, “What is one fun fact about you?” to build a connection!  

Oct 25, 2022

Phil Boyte and guest Stephanie Haynes, veteran educator, speaker, coach, and author, discuss causes of educator burnout and provide ways to cope with it. Don’t miss their ideas on building connections, including the classroom activity, “Uplift Jar.”

Oct 7, 2022

Phil Boyte and Dr. John Eick, Executive Director at Westlake Charter School, share ideas on how to celebrate staff, create opportunities to share stories, and build a school culture prepared for disruptive change. Don’t miss Dr. Eick’s relationship building activity everyone can do with a photo on their cell phone. 

Sep 13, 2022

Shyana Frost, our resident culture guru and COO, puts on her Kindergarten Mom hat to reflect on how tiny moments have helped create trust in her school community. Listen in to hear examples (some accomplished in just one minute!) that made a huge impact and how everyone on campus can create a “people first” culture. www.LearningForLiving.com

Aug 24, 2022

Guest Robin Nott, Fine Arts Artist and Educator from Richland, Michigan, discusses how storytelling enables students to share their true story and connect with each other in a meaningful way. Download his “Story Sparks” activity to build connections at your next staff meeting or in the classroom. As Robin says, “everybody is a storyteller.” LearningForLiving.com

Aug 9, 2022

Phil Boyte and guest Paul Lundberg share ideas on leadership and prioritizing “people first.” Paul breaks down 3 ways for managers to evolve into leaders. Leaders invest in their people, create fellow leaders, and inspire by listening. He further states how listening and being engaged in a conversation without tapping out builds strong relationships and breaks down conflict. 

Jul 26, 2022

In this episode, Phil Boyte and Laurie Beyer, Principal at Maidu Elementary School in Roseville, California, share ideas on how to connect with kids, build trust with staff, and build community on campus. Laurie reminds us of the importance of focusing on what is going well and being present. Listen in to hear more about her superpower of knowing every student’s name. 

Jul 6, 2022

In Episode 95, Phil Boyte and guest Aaron Ragon, Lead Counselor for Douglas County School District in Colorado, share ways to support staff and student well-being. Listen in to hear how Aaron builds community and trust with his team of counselors. He also reminds us to find moments of humor in our day. 

Jun 8, 2022

Phil Boyte and guest Jason Jedamski, School Culture Coach and owner of Ignite2Unite, share ideas on creating irresistible experiences, building campus and community connections, and creating a school no one wants to leave. Stay tuned until the end for an exciting announcement about the future of Breaking Down the Walls!

May 3, 2022

In this episode, Phil Boyte and guest Deborah Beagle, Director of Student Activities at Vernon Hills HS, Illinois, discuss school culture, leadership development, and the value of a supportive school community. Debbie shares her inspirational journey with breast cancer and how her school and network supported and encouraged her. Listen in to hear about her Hakuna Matata theme that helped her stay positive during her cancer journey and the encouragement she gives to have “no worries.”

Apr 12, 2022

Join Phil Boyte and guest Melissa Wright for ideas to encourage and celebrate staff and students at the end of the school year. Melissa shares ways to build school culture, boost morale on campus, and bring back fun and meaningful spring traditions. 

Melissa is a Jostens Renaissance Advisor and Mathematics and Dance Teacher at Kennebecasis Valley High School in Quispamsis, NB, Canada.

Mar 31, 2022

In this episode, Phil Boyte and Shyana Frost, COO of Learning for Living, talk about how tiny moments everyday help build trust and relationships on campus. Shyana shares examples why it is important to communicate effectively and acknowledge the dedication, achievements, and hard moments that our colleagues and students are experiencing. 

Also, stay tuned until the end to hear an announcement about a NEW leadership program for administrators, “People First Administrator Training.” Learn more:  https://www.learningforliving.com/administrator-training

Mar 8, 2022

Phil Boyte and guest Lianna Gantz, Central HS Teacher and 2021 Texas Student Council Advisor of the Year, discuss school culture and mental wellness. Lianna and her students work together to plan “Mental Wellness” Week and “Stop the Silence” Week to increase awareness and understanding of mental health and suicide prevention. Listen in to hear her ideas on sharing positivity, creating a caring campus, and building relationships with a “10 Gives, 1 Ask” approach.

Feb 22, 2022

Phil Boyte and guest Maureen Stover, 2021 National Teacher of the Year finalist, discuss redefining education coming out of the pandemic. Opportunities include creating a culture of trust, support, and intentional communications. Also, hear about Maureen’s equity in education initiative with her North Carolina regional team.

Feb 8, 2022

In this episode, Phil Boyte and guest Scott Backovich, founder of ENVOLVE Schools, share “Student Engagement Ideas.” Scott shares his approach on being a silver lining specialist, the importance of staff and student acknowledgement, and student activities you can do this spring to increase student involvement and create community.

Jan 25, 2022

Listen in to hear Rachael George’s incredible journey to education and her passion to pay it forward. She shares advice from her book Principaled as well as her newly released book, She Leads: The Women’s Guide to a Career in Educational Leadership, including strategies to navigate leadership positions and building school culture. Phil and Rachael also discuss the value of taking time to hear each other's stories to create a culture that puts people first.

Jan 11, 2022

In this episode, Vince Caguin, Natomas Unified Executive Director of Nutrition Services & Warehousing, shares 3 mantras on building “Healthy Culture” with a focus on child nutrition, taking care of staff, and supporting local farmers. For Vince and his dedicated team, “it’s more than food” as they quickly became a cornerstone for the community during the pandemic. Listen in to hear Vince's secret recipe to the success of his program.

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