Thursday, February 12, 2009

School Climate

Creating and maintaining a positive school climate is at the heart of having a great school. A school with a positive climate is one in which students feel safe, not only from the physical or mental harm or abuse, but also to take risks in learning. As such, a key to promoting a positive school environment where people are allowed to be people and are treated with the respect that everyone wants and deserves. In other words, follow the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I used to phrase it this way when I was in the classroom: Was I the kind of teacher today that I would want my own children to have every day? What did I want for my own children?
  • I wanted them to be encouraged to take risks and to pursue their natural curiosity.
  • I wanted them to be held to high standards and to be challenged to meet high expectations.
  • I wanted them to be supported in their efforts to meet those high standards and expectations.
  • I wanted them to be encouraged to ask questions and to find the answers, as opposed to leaving questioning to the teacher and waiting to parrot what they had been told.
  • I expected that if their behavior was inappropriate that they would be reprimanded in a respectful and professional manner. (I believe one can be stern without being mean.)
  • I expected their teachers to demonstrate high morals, strong ethics, and admirable character.
I expected a lot from their teachers. And I expected as much from me as a teacher. And I expect as much from every teacher in my building because that is what will make for a positive school climate.

I've got much to say on this and will edit this blog over the next couple of days. But I wanted to get a start. I'd certainly appreciate any thoughts you, the reader, might share.

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