Schools have a policy for just about everything these days – or do they?
Schools have 100’s of policies, covering every aspect of school life but there is one important policy missing.
This policy is essential and one policy that will benefit staff and students, promote health and wellbeing, and improve the whole school system.
What is it? A ‘No Negativity Policy’.
Schools are full of positives but they have plenty of negatives as well. When staff start to moan and groan about things and what isn’t right then the school culture is under threat.
The customs, norms, standards, and behaviours of a school define its character and they have to reflect positivity. Children shouldn’t be party to teacher moans but they often are.
If the atmosphere of the school is positive then this makes impact and people like being there and want to be there.
Squeaks and squeals, grunts and growls about particular issues can undermine an organisation and the undercurrents running through the place can be unhealthy.
Of course we are entitled to voice how we feel but not as gossip, tittle-tattle, back-biting and petty comments. A place can become toxic very quickly if things are allowed to be said and passed off as ‘pressure’ or the ‘end of term’.
Having a policy that says our school is a no moan zone is crucial because without one we aren’t being ‘professional’ – take a look at Twitter. So-called professionals put themselves in victim mode and make social media a toxic platform full of poisonous platitudes.
Sometimes, we have to seek policy change in schools or school systems so we can enhance or protect the psychological health and wellbeing of our students and staff. Having a ‘No Negativity Policy’ makes a school a happier place by making sure that people think twice about what they are seeing and the impact it can have.
If you have moaners in your school then you could just stay away from them but that won’t stop them moaning. A ‘No Negativity Policy’ should incorporate challenge so that when people start to complain then they follow a process by speaking to someone confidentially about their concerns not out in the open in a staffroom or playground.
No Moan Zones are effective ways of improving productivity and setting a healthy can-do culture. Healthy thinking needs to go viral!
The school’s code of conduct also relates to staff and a good one will say that staff should seek support from their line manager about positive action. If you are the person complaining all the time then be self aware and check your own behaviour and language. Look for the good things that you and your school are doing and speak about these instead. If you think things are too far down the line and you are negative the majority of the time then maybe it’s time to look for another job and start afresh.