Professional Development

Building Community Through Crew

A Teamwork Approach to School Culture
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Crew means two things: a schoolwide culture of respect, compassion, and teamwork; and a structure for meetings to support belonging, character growth, and academic growth. Using descriptions, stories, readings, and videos, we will look at schools who have used the concept of Crew to cultivate learning environments in schools and classrooms that make sure everyone feels welcome, valued, supported, and held accountable to be their best selves. All schools already embrace aspects of Crew – through elements like their shared commitments, faculty professional learning culture, elementary morning meetings, secondary advisories, and schoolwide events. This session will focus on how to deepen those elements through structures and practices that prioritize relationships, personal growth, and a shared mission for the common good.

Learning Targets

  1. I can explain the power of Crew—Positive School Culture and Daily Advisory Meetings—to transform schools and support student success.
  2. I can describe elements of Crew that I can implement or amplify in my own setting.


Ron Berger

Teacher and Professional Development Designer

Ron is responsible for leading EL Education‘s vision of teaching and learning, bringing with him 40 years of experience as a teacher and professional development designer, 28 of those years teaching in public schools.

Part of EL Education since its founding, Ron has authored two books: An Ethic of Excellence and A Culture of Quality, co-authored three more: Leaders of Their Own Learning, Transformational Literacy, and Management in the Active Classroom, and has ensured that quality and craftsmanship are reflected not only in the work that they encourage from students and teachers, but in their work as an organization as well. He is a sought-after keynote speaker nationally and internationally.

A graduate of Hampshire College, Ron holds a master’s of education from Harvard University, where he now teaches a course that uses exemplary student project work to illuminate academic standards.


Building Community Through Crew

Session 1-1

Power of Crew

1:42 mins

6:55 mins

Session 1-2

Crew Across the School

3:15 mins

7:35 mins

Session 1-3

Elements of Crew

Session 1-4

Secondary Crew Structures


1:26 mins

6:33 mins

Session 2-1

Staff Crew

2:52 mins

7:08 mins

Session 2-2

Common Challenges for Staff Crew

2:05 mins

Handouts / Common Challenges

Session 2-3

School Culture Discussion Activity

Session 3-1

Student Crew + Closing

4 Choices

7:55 mins

Academic Work and Support

6:23 mins

Brave and Honest Conversations

8:39 mins

Contributing to a Better World

4:29 mins

Post-Secondary Journey

7:49 mins