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The importance of school culture…

January 27, 2014

What is school culture? Why is it important? Why should parents and community members care and be invested in the culture of schools?

All of these are very important questions for educators, parents, school board members, and other community members to consider and ask themselves.

School culture is important for many reasons. While I am going to take this from an early elementary point of view, culture in any work or school environment is essential to respect, growth, and communication. School culture starts at the top and moves its way down to the students; the individuals most important in the school building. School culture is a team mentality of respect and support for and between each and every person in the community, i.e. school. Just as *Nel Noddings writes in her “ethics of care,” it is important to learn how to “care for” and “care about” individuals in a reciprocal fashion. Through practice and dialogue students learn how to care for one other and other citizens. Leaders in school buildings need to jumpstart the culture of community and “school family.” The success and failure of each and every student is not only on the shoulders of the classroom teachers, but of the entire staff; it is everyone’s job and ethical duty as a teacher to ensure every student is learning and succeeding academically and learning how to be productive citizens in society by learning respect, communication, and humility.

School culture is essential in building a greater society of individuals who can reflect on their successes and failures, communicate respectfully, question, and become successful and contributing members of society. Individuals from all walks of life, generations, backgrounds, and cultures need to be concerned, invested, and supportive of school culture. Stop asking about grades. Stop insisting teachers use a light system (behavior system). Stop instilling in your children that A+ and finishing the day at the top of the behavior chart is the most important thing at school. What is important, one might ask? Learning how to fail, learning how to pick yourself up and make a difference from your mistakes, learning how to communicate your successes, learning how to work in a group, learning how to reflect… those are the important traits to gain in school. When you have confidence, respect, and the ability to reflect, success will come.

*Noddings, N. (2002). Educating moral people: A caring alternative to character

education. Vermont: Teacher College Press.


From → Education

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