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Building a Positive School Climate: What's Your Role?

Stepping into the teacher's lounge or workroom can be a risky adventure for some teachers.  It is not always the welcoming atmosphere most picture when they think of working in a school setting, and it can sometimes exude a climate similar to what you would find on Antarctica after all the scientists have gone home for winter.  For new teachers, this can be especially daunting, but what can one do about the negative climate in their school?

How can one teacher make a difference?
Once we put on our teacher caps and step into our classrooms that very first year, we are all leaders.  We are the authority figures in our own classrooms, and we have the skills required to lead others.  Furthermore, when it comes to classroom climates, it is highly likely that most of the teachers (especially the newer ones) in the building want change; they just don't know how to work toward the positive climate they crave.

Be the initiator.  Be the spark for change.  Be the one who speaks up to bring to light the elephant in the room, and stand firm that you )and your co-workers) deserve more.  You deserve a school setting where you feel safe to go to work, teach your students, and leave at the end of the day without having been subject to a cumulative bad mood for eight hours of your day.

Here is a great tool to help you find your way through the muck and to greener pastures:
  • What To Do When Your School's In A Bad Mood is filled with incredible information for remedying that school-wide bad mood.  Distribute this to your administration and your faculty, and encourage a reading club or book study to discuss the strategies suggested.  Even the first chapter can get you an a great start!
Need a more detailed step-by-step approach?  Start off with this Problem Solving Model.  The ideas included may give you the light bulb moment you need to find your own solutions!

Good luck on creating that perfect school climate.  I know it's out there.  :)

Happy Teaching!