Creating a Culture of Care (WS)

Relationships matter. It seems self-evident that student relationships developed in and around the school have a lot to do with how effectively students learn. Unfortunately, teachers too often discount building healthy relationships with students due to the time pressure of covering course content. When teachers overly focus on test scores, content coverage, making judgements on student learning, and addressing student behaviour only when it is bad, students’ chances of success decrease. The same can be said of relationships between adults. When administration does not focus on building caring, trusting relationships with teachers, or only addresses it peripherally, teacher performance also suffers.

This session will address ways schools can create a culture of care: care between administration and teachers, teachers with each other, teachers with students, and students with each other. We will study ways successful administrators and teachers have created warm, trusting, caring learning communities that support joy, well-being, and academic success.

About Tico Oms

Tico Oms is the Middle School Dean of Students at International School Bangkok (ISB), and is responsible for maintaining ISB’s positive, caring, and supportive student culture and learning environment.

 Prior to joining ISB, Tico was at the Singapore American School, serving in a variety of roles from 2006 included Middle School Deputy Principal, Associate Director for Extended Learning and Department Chair. As the Associate Director of Extended Learning, Tico launched the High School research and development initiative, organizing and attending visits with dozens of exemplary and innovative schools around the world. As Deputy Principal, Tico also led the Middle School through its research and development process, again leading visits dozens of innovative middle schools throughout the world and using those lessons to guide and implement improvements throughout the school.

Prior to his teaching career, Tico had a successful business career, working as regional Asia Pacific product marketing manager for Dell Computer Corporation; vice president of operations for Siam2You Company in Thailand; vice president for business development for Mweb Corporation; and as an engineer at LTV Aerospace & Defense Corporation in Texas.

Tico is a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education which he attended on a mid-career scholarship. He received his MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received a Consortium Fellowship. He has taught in Berlin, Germany; Massachusetts, USA; and Osaka, Japan. Tico speaks Spanish, Japanese, and Thai.

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