Dr. James Bushman, the principal of University High School, a charter school in Fresno, California, asked his faculty and students to identify what makes their school culture so vibrant and special—so that together they could define the rites, rituals, and symbols through which to welcome new students to UHS.

Building vibrant school culture starts with the adults in the building. "I believe how we communicate and connect with one another is what separates the good teacher from the excellent one, as well as the good school from the bad," reflects Ted Paukert in ASCD Express after 34 years of teaching. Principals—like Dr. Bushman—have the unique privilege and responsibility of crafting that culture that leaves its mark on students.

Cornell University offers tips for educators looking to connect with students in the classroom.

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