On April 1 and 2 we at MY English School had the first of our seven yearly days of teacher and staff training. For those seven days we close all of our schools and devote the full day to improving our school and ourselves as professionals. Consistent and continuous improvement is a part of our school culture.
A lot is being said and written recently in the business world about corporate culture and how important it is to the success of a business. Running a language school is an interesting hybrid in that it is both a business and educational endeavor, but luckily establishing a strong culture is beneficial for both.
One book I have read recently is Tribal Leadership by David Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright. It highlights five different levels of culture within an organization, stating that most remain at level three while the most successful organizations move between levels four and five. For a better explanation please read the book, but organizations with cultures operating at levels four and five have members that focus on the organization as a whole and its competition with a rival or idea, rather than themselves as individuals within the organization competing with others in the same group. It doesn’t mean they lose themselves as individuals in any way, but instead focus on how the organization itself is unique and special.
I once spoke with a school owner who told me that all English conversation schools are essentially the same. I couldn’t disagree more, but in order to stand out the school must have a culture that fosters a belief that their school is different—that there are aspects about it that make it better.
Some ways we have worked to make MY English School different are…
There are not many other English conversation schools, especially the larger ones, doing something similar. It does make a difference and I believe carries over to the quality of the lessons themselves and the reputation of our schools in their respective communities.