How to Find Your Culture Match: 3 Tips from School Leaders

Three tips from school leaders to determine if a school's culture is the right-fit for your career.

How to Find Your Culture Match: 3 Tips from School Leaders

We partnered with Waterside School to discuss how to determine if a school's culture is the right-fit for your teaching career.

During this session, Jamel Keels, Head of School and Jessica Chang, Dean of Studies, share their experiences finding their ideal culture match. Through reflective questions and real life examples, this session will arm you with strategies to determine if a school is the right-fit for your career.

Reflection Topics:

  • Your philosophy of education
  • Your definition of academic rigor and student success
  • Your role as a teacher in a specific school
  • How you plan to engage with the various stakeholders in your school’s community (admin, colleagues, families, students and the greater community)

After reflecting, Jamel and Jessica also share tips on how to create priorities for determining whether or not a school is your right culture match.

Finding Your Culture Match with Waterside School

Finding Your Culture Match with Waterside School [Transcript coming soon]
  1. Look at a school's mission statement. "Once you read a school's mission statement, you kind of have a sense of whether that jives with you or not," says Chang. However, to get the full picture you need to evaluate if the school is living out to its mission. Circle words or phrases in the mission statement that pop out for you. During the in-person or virtual walkthrough, find clues that help you determine if the school's mission matches their day-to-day.
  2. Understand your philosophy of education.  Everyone's definition of rigor and success is different. Reflecting upon rigor and student success prior to your job search process can help you minimize the noise when looking at schools. Ask yourself questions like: What does rigor mean to you? How do you define success in a school? How would you recognize and celebrate student success? What is the role of a teacher in student success?
  3. Analyze how you expect to engage with stakeholders. Depending on the school, teachers will have to interact with different stakeholders (school administrators, parents, other communities) in different ways. Thinking about how do you want to interact with different members of the school community is essential to determining culture fit. Does the school have an open door policy? Would you need support to talk to parents about student behavior? What are your thoughts on teacher collaboration?

About Waterside School

Waterside School is a co-educational PK - 5th Grade Independent School serving children and families regardless of limitations in income or circumstance. The School attracts and inspires students of academic promise and families deeply invested in their children’s success.

About Selected

Selected helps teachers find jobs at schools they love. We offer a free school matching and career support platform for teachers that connects them with 1,600+ PK-12 schools in numerous urban metro areas across the country. Create a FREE teacher profile and connect with hiring schools immediately!