Hallmarks of a great school environment
Updated: Apr 4
Hint: It’s more than the buildings
It’s first thing in the morning and you’re walking through the school doors. You spend upwards of 9 hours a day, five days a week in school. It may even feel like your second home, but what else should exist beyond the four walls? Here are our thoughts…
A positive and inclusive work culture.
Schools with strong work cultures typically embrace inclusivity and hold functions frequently that bring everyone together.
Teachers who establish strong student relationships
We've noticed that the most effective teachers have strong relationships with their students. This goes beyond the typical 'how are you' conversations on the way into class. Teachers who understand their students' hobbies, feelings, and challenges find fewer instances of negative classroom behavior and better learning outcomes.
We know that sometimes things are out of leadership's control, but teachers in the trenches also need to feel like someone at the top is fighting for them to succeed – whether that means securing necessary resources or simply advocating for better conditions and addressing professional development gaps. When strong leadership exists in a school, it’s clear, not questionable.
An effective behavior system.
Are your students being held accountable for their actions? Better yet, what school-wide reward system is in place to recognize those students working hard? Many times only one of these systems exists in schools, but in reality, both systems work cohesively to run one well-oiled machine.
Parent Involvement Program
The best schools encourage – sometimes even require – parent engagement on a monthly basis. It is a proven fact that parent engagement positively affects the success of a student, but real engagement means more than helping with homework.