If you look up the word culture in our dictionary, you¡¯ll see that the concept of culture has to do with a particular group of people in a particular place, and their shared knowledge and values. We¡¯re all familiar with the idea of school culture — the embodiment of the students, the staff and the leadership in the context of their community, shaped by their challenges and their aspirations.
At Vocabulary.com, we¡¯ve been lucky enough to visit many schools across the country — training you, learning from you, being inspired by you and your students — and we soak up a distinct school culture everywhere we go. Then we come back and share these great stories with each other — stories about how you¡¯re integrating vocabulary improvement with your curriculum, improving literacy skills, and motivating kids to strive for excellence.
In sharing these anecdotes about all the ways teachers and schools are taking Vocabulary.com and making it their own, it dawned on us that you are creating a new kind of culture — a culture of word learning.
In many schools, Vocabulary.com has become a catalyst for positive outcomes that go beyond our most basic function — to teach words and improve literacy. We see it in the hallways, the libraries, the classrooms and the pep rallies — vocabulary learning has become part of the culture, the identity, of these schools.
Above all, here¡¯s what stands out to us when we reflect on what it means to have a healthy, thriving culture of word learning.
It all goes back to the concept of culture as a reflection of a community¡¯s shared knowledge and values. When a school actively creates a culture of word learning, it¡¯s making a statement about the importance of literacy and academic achievement. When a school builds a culture of word learning, it is creating an environment where success is an expectation, and where students are provided the opportunities and supports to achieve it.
We don¡¯t know what you¡¯ll do, but based on what we¡¯ve seen happening already, we know it¡¯ll be creative, and inspiring. Whatever you do, no matter how big or small, we¡¯d love to hear from you — the educators out there making a difference. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your story!