"The ambience or the atmosphere of the school matters. In fact it is the only thing that matters!"
At times when we enter an institution, we get positive vibes but sometimes we feel like running away from the arena. These positive vibes are not an illusion. They are a result of a healthy culture which exists in the institution. It takes a long time to build this environment but if correct steps are taken, everyone soon contributes to ensure that the gears are properly oiled and the wheels are rolling in the proper direction.
School is one such place where each aspect is densely textured with empathy and understanding and so the subtle nuances of education are dealt with care, caution, respect and humility.
Research says that the children learn well when they are provided with encouragement and support in a positive environment. Leave apart the research, the educators with experience will vouch for this fact. So what does it take to have a good climate in a school?
There are three aspects which broadly ensure that there is a good culture in the school-
Infrastructure is the prime requirement in any school which contributes towards a healthy environment. Sufficiently spaced out classrooms which provide ample movement opportunity for students and teachers are required in every school. Overcrowded classrooms kill the creativity among the children. The classrooms should at least have the minimum space required per child as stated by the education departments of the country or the state.
Comfortable and spaced out classrooms are the basic necessity to start the process of learning.
Safety and hygiene also hold a primary place when we are speaking of infrastructure. The building and other equipment should be safe. All wires covered, fire safety equipment should be checked regularly and disaster management drills should be carried out from time to time.
Apart from building safety, the toilet and sanitary conditions should also be good. Clean and pure drinking water should be available for everyone. There should be sufficient open spaces where the students can play and vent out their physical strength and if possible some recreational facilities should be provided for the teachers.
Proper security check of each visitor and vigilance on the part of employees ensure a safe and secure environment in the school.
Every school develops a culture which is built on the basis of practices that it adopts. As it is said that small steps in the present help you to take giant leaps in the future, similarly regular good positive rules build a culture and in course of time it develops the reputation of the school.
These practices are related to the procedures which are followed in the school. From the arrival of the first employee to the departure of the last employee everything should be dealt with in great detail. Each practice should be a healthy one to ensure safe and smooth arrival and departure of the students. The more there is transparency in the systems, the better they operate.
Systems related to the leaves of the employees or their health benefits should be well designed. Leave is not the right of the employee but sometimes they have an emergency and hence they have to avail leaves. Similarly there are those who are in the habit of taking too many leaves. If such is the case they should be checked.
The policies related to the problems that the children face should also be dealt with in detail. They should be reviewed and revised as the need arises. Almost all the children need assistance in academics and there are some who need a support in the behavior management. They must be provided assistance when required.
The school is like a tree and so as it keeps growing bigger and older. It keeps shedding the dead leaves and branches and keeps growing new ones to stay alive. A similar cycle has to be adopted in schools also. The practices should be reviewed regularly. The dead ones which are not applicable should be removed or thrown and the new ones should be adopted to keep the tree revived and green.
The Human Quotient
The staff of the school is the most important quotient. We are well aware that no matter how much of Artificial Intelligence takes its fort, the human quotient in education will never be ruled out. Children will never connect to robots as they connect to teachers.
Hence teachers and other staff members are very important. Professional development is the need of the hour for the staff members. They must be trained in the various skills and technology which enter the market from time to time. There are many researches which enter the market and reveal facts which are an eye opener. These have to be percolated down to the staff members.
Piling them up with work and not giving them adequate recreational facilities will overburden them and ultimately cause stress. A happy and well settled staff can handle the children well. If empathy and attention is paid to the staff, they will automatically show the same feelings towards the students.
A happy and a caring environment must be created in the school. Integration and collaboration among the staff will take place when equal respect and praise is showered upon them from time to time. Recognition and rewards enhance their performance skills and boost their morale. It also provides them with encouragement to keep doing better.
Each employee of the school should feel like a leader. If each one takes the responsibility of acting as a leader, they will be proactive in their work. The happiness quotient will flow down from the teacher to the student. Humor always brings positivity, reduces workload and strengthens relationships.
These are some of the contributing factors which go on to create an impact on the climate of your school.
About our guest author -
Kesar Patel is a passionate educator, having an experience of over two decades in education. She is working as a Principal and is a passionate writer as well. She mainly writes on Education. She feels that educators are the nerves of the education system and hence their professional development is very important. She also speaks on various topics related to education and students.
TO AVOID TRAFFIC JAMS ON THE NORMAL PATHS, SHE BELIEVES IN COVERING THAT EXTRA MILE TO CREATE THE DIFFERENCE IN HER FIELD.