School Culture

Discussion in 'General Education' started by YoungTeacherGuy, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Oct 13, 2014

    It's always amazes me how school culture varies from site-to-site within my very own district.

    For example, at my site--we have a Character Counts Student of the Month luncheon. Students' parents are invited to each lunch with them if they're selected as the Character Counts Student of the Month. Additionally, the classroom teachers give up their lunch on that day so they can eat with the children and their parents. It's a big deal (auditorium is decorated, kids dress up, music is played, etc.)!

    At my former site, teachers refused to give up their lunch for any reason. Moreover, the monthly luncheon didn't exist. Students were honored at an assembly, though, and given a certificate and book.

    At my current site, all students in grades 1-5 fill out a daily agenda/planner.

    At my former site, teachers didn't like the idea of students carrying around "one more thing."

    Union presence is incredibly strong at this school and teachers make certain that they've got the contract memorized. At my last school, teachers were relatively low-key and no one ever wanted to be the site union rep for the district.

    Here, teachers have monthly TGIF after school at a local restaurant/bar. Everyone shows up. Most teachers at my former site have young kids, though, and don't have get-togethers after school due to child care issues.

    Both schools are just a few streets away from one another, but they're worlds apart!

    Teachers at my current and former site are extremely hardworking, though. :thumb:
     
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  3. Ms.Blank

    Ms.Blank Companion

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    Oct 13, 2014

    As a substitute teacher in a district of around two dozen schools, I definitely understand this! Schools that are just blocks apart have a WORLD of difference when it comes to culture. It's quite shocking! I have developed my favorites, and get excited when I get calls from those schools :)
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Oct 13, 2014

    Administration greatly affects school culture :hugs:
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 13, 2014

    I have found that teachers at my school are a lot willing to go the extra mile and give up some perks when they feel appreciated and respected.
     
  6. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Oct 13, 2014

    I have said for years that chárter schools for students is not the answer, it is chárter schools for teachers.

    I think teachers should be able to choose the schools within the district they want to teach at based on administration, teaching philosophy, teaching strategies, classroom management, academic focus..etc.

    Getting the right adults at the right school is more effective than the students choosing a school based on a theme.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Oct 13, 2014

    This is also an example of why some things will work in one school and not in another. If you put a program in a school and the culture doesn't buy into it, the students won't either.

    Society also know schools have culture and different policies which is why when society moved from trusting authorities to questioning authorities, society started to not trust teachers. Trying to explain why the chosen method is the right one usually is met with an argument that doesn't equate to much more than this is what I like to do or pointing to research that also has research that contradicts the practice.
     
  8. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Oct 13, 2014

    My school is sort of a mix of those environments depending on which teachers you're around. I try to stay around the positive ones but the negative ones are certainly starting to take over which is unfortunately. I know administration has a lot to do with it. Luckily my direct administrator is a positive, realistic person that I have a good working relationship with.
     
  9. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Oct 13, 2014

    The work environment I work in now is completely different from the classroom environment I worked in. One big difference is that we (I'm not the only one to think this) feel that we're being micromanaged, and not by the director either. In the classroom, I felt that I had free reign to teach what I needed to teach however I thought was better for the students. No micromanaging there at all.
     
  10. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Oct 13, 2014

    I can't speak for everyone, but most of the staff at my previous school really couldn't stand the principal. He was cold, humorless, and petty. I don't know for sure, but I assume that's why there wasn't much in terms of volunteerism and everyone came and left at contracted times.

    At my current school, everyone pretty much loves or at leat respects my principal and most teachers volunteer for things all the time. We have literacy nights where about 1/3 of the staff volunteer to come in in the evening, read to kids, and participate in activities.

    By the way, I have to be honest and say I HATE giving up my lunch for anything. I'll do it, but I'm not happy about it. I need a little down time mid day to myself. I also have a ton of work that I get done in the 40 minutes that I have.
     
  11. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Oct 13, 2014

    First thing that jumped out at me... I give up my lunch at least once or twice a month to eat with groups of students on my own, but I'd probably resent being told I HAD to give up my lunch.

    But I'd agree, school culture makes a difference, and a lot of times, just a change in administration makes a huge difference. We changed principals four years ago... both principals have their strong points and their weak points, but my current principal is much more transparent to the staff, and that has definitely had a positive impact on school culture. At the same time, since she is much more visible in classrooms (and much quicker to provide constructive criticism), there's a lot more people that do things just to CYA.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 13, 2014

    Not a staff meeting goes by when we don't receive a sincere "thank you" from our administration for all we do for our students and school community every day. Most of our staff go out of the way to do extras for our students--being recognized and appreciated for that certainly helps.
     

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