Teachers, School Climate, and
Approximately 40 million students attend more than 80 thousand schools, employing 2 million teachers at a cost exceeding $125 billion annually--about 5 percent of personal income in the United States. For most parents, education is an investment in their children's future prospects; yet teachers and districts generally appear unresponsive to requests by students or parents for better schools. Teachers can make only limited adjustments for one student's interests and concerns when they have another two dozen in their classrooms. Aiming to maintain an orderly environment for several hundred energetic children and a reasonably structured curriculum across age levels, school staffs create a bureaucratic and alienating climate.
Anyone observing schools during opening week in September discovers an incredible montage of hopes and fears, long-term plans and short-term coping tactics, formal learning objectives, and informal socialization. Most students arrive already acculturated to remembered school routines, but five-year olds and transfers share apprehensions as well as anticipations. Seniors look ahead to graduation and adult responsibilities. Families and students need support, guidance and role models that both conserve traditions and prepare for future economic and social roles. Today's schools are expected to convey public values and national purposes while preparing young adults for their places in a complex postindustrial society.
Teachers clarify their procedures and expectations for an orderly classroom, get to know 30 to 150 individuals by name and personality, and hope to enliven learning for all their students during the coming months. Some worry about taking an inservice course, teaching a different grade level or subject, or adjusting to personal concerns. Others are preoc
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Publication information: Book title: Partnerships for Improving Schools. Contributors: Byrd L. Jones - Author, Robert W. Maloy - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1988. Page number: 19.
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