The Edible Schoolyard Workplace Culture

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Published July 18, 2016 | Updated July 21, 2016
Subject: Professional Development
Resource Type: Program Management
Grade Level: Adults/Professionals
Uploaded by:
Kyle Cornforth
Program Affiliations:

Our Mission

To promote Edible Education through implementing a whole-child educational model which teaches life skills, academics, citizenship, environmental stewardship, and health in a one-acre garden and kitchen classroom

Our Strategy

Through teamwork, experience, and innovation we develop, test, document, and evaluate lessons and best practices. We document and share everything we learn online and in our professional development trainings.

Culture Principles

1. MISSION AND STRATEGY IS THE METRIC: In every decision our mission and our specific objectives are our key consideration.
2. PROFESSIONALISM: While our style as individuals and as team might be easy going, our attitude towards our work is extremely professional - we seek to maintain the highest standards of quality and depth delivery, productivity and effectiveness.
3. WE HAVE FUN: We bring positivity, joy and laughter to our work with each other. We get our jobs done and we do great work, and we have an incredible amount of fun doing it. We also respect the power of the reset button :).
4. WE WORK COLLABORATIVELY: We aim to have transparency and openness. Every team member is able and encouraged to weigh in and contribute to ideas and decisions. The team respects decisions, regardless of initial personal views, and endeavors to implement them with excellence.
5. WE ARE ALL STUDENTS: We approach our work with humility and the recognition that sometimes failure is the best teacher. We value curiosity, experimentation, and messy thinking.
6. CHERISH FEEDBACK AND OFFER IT RESPONSIBLY: We believe in iterative learning and professional growth. When we give feedback, we do so constructively and kindly.
7. RESPECT AND KINDNESS: Our intention is to care for each other and our community. We are thoughtful and aware of how we impact others. We seek to avoid pretentiousness, meanness, pettiness and disrespect on our team.
8. WE ARE COMMITTED TO DEVELOPING OUR CULTURAL COMPETENCY: Individually and organizationally, we explore the impact of culture and identity on the schooling experience, examine the influence of race, power, and privilege on the educational process, and seek culturally responsive pedagogy and practices to ensure access for all students, especially those historically underserved by the educational system. We engage families as collaborators in this process and aim to create physical and emotional spaces that reflect and celebrate the diversity of our community.

What is Professionally Required

In order to perform the basic responsibilities of the job, all ESY staff:

· Demonstrate excellence in innovative teaching
· Have the ability to be challenged
· Support others in the group when we work together
· Demonstrate clear and strong communication skills
· Respect each other
· Are engaged in our professional development
· Are honest even when we are embarrassed or scared
· Are able to professionally address workplace issues
· Seek to grow their awareness of how their actions impact students, staff, and peers

Communication Principles

1. Raise things early, in person, and with a good constructive spirit. Do it before you get frustrated!
2. Suspend judgment as much as possible. Many problems are not real problems, but just misunderstandings or half - understandings - keep an open mind.
3. Don't dwell on blame -- move towards a solution. We all have situations that get under our skin, but we each strive to be solution oriented.
4. Chill out. The 3 principles above shouldn't make us walk on eggshells. Just make sure we're being professional, positive and focused with each other.
5. Cherish feedback and offer it responsibly - constructive criticism is a gift that makes us grow. We need to be responsible in giving it, and responsible in accepting it.
6. Take opportunities to appreciate - it's good to give positive feedback too when someone does a great job.
7. Everyone deserves feedback -- we give feedback to everyone on the team, regardless of hierarchy.
8. Speak for yourself only -- be specific about the behavior and your experience/reaction. Generalizing and giving feedback on behalf of others does everyone a disservice.
9. Receiving Feedback: We all accept feedback

Receiving Feedback

1. Breathe
2. Listen Carefully
3. Summarize your understanding of the feedback
4. Take time to sort what you heard and how you plan to integrate it (or not)
5. Check out alternate approaches to the person who gave you feedback.

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