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Part of the Pack: Contagious Environments

Andrew Walanski, a California middle school principal, uses universal principles of positive connection, influence, and trust to transform his school and community into a place where EVERYONE feels valued, safe, and understood. There is a measurable benefit to positive communities and learning environments, and his mission is to spread the opportunity for as many people as possible to experience it for themselves. What are you doing in your community to bring everyone together? We'd love to hear from you and highlight your best practices for others!


Part of the Pack: Contagious Environments

"I hate this analogy, but it's, I'm gonna use it. I don't know if you've ever watched The Dog Whisperer, And I'm not comparing students in that way whatsoever, but like, what does he do when you have this dog who's got all these terrible behaviors? He sends him into the pack, right? And the pack shows that student (dog) how to behave appropriately, and how to care and love for one another. And it's not that dissimilar from us.

We've all seen those classrooms where it's love, care, support, there's a system in place, everyone has a certain level of expectations that don't necessarily have to be articulated. You take a student who's had a lot of challenges and you put them into that space and they end up right taking on the behaviors and the energy and the love and the care and the feeling of that space. Um, and you can and so it's how do you scale that up as a school, right? Because you can scale that up. It just takes a lot of time, effort, energy

And then when you start doing that with your schools, you start seeing that impact in the broader community. Um, and that's where we need to, that's where we need to go."

-Andrew Walanski


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