In our education system today, there certainly seems to be a focus on test scores, curriculum and student achievement. I think the vast majority of teachers would agree that students are in school to learn. There is a curriculum that needs to be taught and teachers have the responsibility of developing instructional strategies to teach those skills to their students.
A teacher’s job is difficult and challenging. Their job responsibilities continue to increase and they continue to assume more duties in the classroom. The expectation for teachers to show academic achievement will soon be part of a teacher’s performance evaluation. Student achievement scores are tracked, evaluated and published. The Clark County School District is implementing a “Growth Model,” which focuses on students’ academic progress during each school year. This is a positive move.
However, as we move towards more accountability in education, I would also like educators to address school and classroom climate. Kids need to enjoy school and we need to have a positive learning environment for our kids. If our teachers don’t create an inviting classroom, how can we expect students to learn?
We know from our own jobs that work climate is important to all of us. Think about the meeting you sat in that lasted over two hours. You couldn’t wait for it to end. How about the boss that is so focused on work completion, but forgets to ask you about your ailing family member. You get my point.
So let’s support teachers in their endeavors to educate our kids but let’s give them the opportunity to enjoy their job and help our kids to enjoy school. Teachers need to be treated as professionals, have the opportunity to teach and the ability to create a welcoming classroom. If we want to raise our graduation rate and college enrollment, school needs to be a positive place.