Lesson 1: Creating Caring Relationship with Students
When you spend a little time in a school building, it is easy to discern the social-emotional climate there. In the cafeteria, is there a hushed, stern atmosphere of a maximum-security prison, the uninhibited exuberance of a junior college cafeteria, or the slightly loud but respectful ambience of a family reunion? What is the demeanor of the students in the hallways? Are teachers yelling at them to maintain discipline? Is the student banter respectful or lurid? Are people joking and laughing? Are students walking the hallways while class is in session? What do you see in the teachers’ lounge–people who are smiling and talking, or sitting alone reading or playing with their ipads and cellphones? Is the atmosphere accepting? Warm? Or do you get a feeling that people are distanced from one another, maybe a bit dispirited, and not really wanting to be there?
The answers to all those questions are important because they are indicators of the school culture and the nature of the education that is being offered to students.
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