Like the larger academic culture, a school culture is influenced by conscious and subconscious perceptions, behaviors, practices, values, relationships, and beliefs, and it’s heavily impacted by a school s specific institutional background. Students, parents, faculties, teachers, administration, and other members of the school community all contribute towards shaping their school s culture. It is important to note that all these elements interact and influence each other to shape the very fabric of the school.
The major factors that affect a school culture are the teachers and students themselves. The teachers play a vital role in shaping the climate of the school, given their primary role in the everyday teaching and educating of the students. The effectiveness of teachers in shaping their students’ behavior and attitudes towards learning and society in general, determines the success or failure of any school. Furthermore, a poor teacher training program is an ineffective teacher. Effective teachers ensure that a school creates an environment conducive to learning, not just as an adjunct to teacher qualifications.
On the other hand, the students are arguably even more influential in their daily actions. These children are more likely to adopt societal behaviors dictated by their beliefs, with little regard for the reality of how these behaviors are formed. Thus, it becomes important that school staff members and students understand and respect each other’s different behaviors and beliefs, as well as their differences and preferences. A cohesive school culture facilitates effective communication between staff members and students about these core issues.
A school culture based on respect and positive student attitudes, demands that teachers exhibit these same attitudes. For a positive school culture to flourish, faculty, teachers and administrators must publicly demonstrate their positive attitudes toward students, their teaching and learning habits, and their practices. Such actions build public trust in each other and promote mutual respect among staff members.
In addition, the schools and communities they serve need to have a well-rounded population: people of all ages, races, ethnicities, gender, talents and abilities. A diverse population can provide a rich source of ideas and experiences for students. A school culture with an equally diversified range of personnel can better distribute knowledge and offer a wider array of learning opportunities. It also encourages teachers to develop personal talents and to apply these talents to the classroom.
These are just some of the ways that a school culture can help students and faculty members to learn and thrive. The norms created by teachers and school leaders will help students internalize them. This also helps prepare them to take on their roles as adults in their communities and society. In this way, the norms become a true means of becoming integrated members of their communities, workplaces and society. With good classroom practices, strong and healthy school culture and positive attitudes toward learning and its norms, students will be able to succeed at whatever they choose to pursue.