There are many different schools and colleges, but they all have one thing in common: they provide learning experiences that prepare students for their future. They may look like very different places, but when it comes to the culture of a school, there are some things that all schools share.
You want to work in education, but you don’t know what the culture of schools is like. Are they really bad places that don’t care about students? Or are they places where teachers are appreciated and feel like they have a real impact on students?
If you’re considering a career change to education, it can be challenging to understand what the culture of a school is like. You may think all schools are identical, but this isn’t true. Some schools are more than others, and learning what makes them different is important.
While there are some similarities between all schools, there are also some differences that you should know about.
The culture of a school refers to what happens in the day-to-day interactions between students and adults, as well as in the general attitudes of the school toward its students. The school culture can hugely impact young people’s emotional lives, especially their emotional resilience.
1. Student participation in class
In a typical classroom, student participation is generally low. This is because most classrooms focus on teacher-centered learning rather than student-centered learning.
The goal of teaching is to teach. Teachers spend most of their time lecturing and writing lesson plans and less facilitating discussion and encouraging student-led learning.
To encourage student participation, you can try out one of these strategies.
Firstly, give students more responsibility. Students can write lesson plans, plan lessons, and teach small group classes.
Secondly, teach more engaging lessons. This will give students a reason to participate in class.
You can also use a flipped classroom, an approach to teaching that encourages student-led learning. In a flipped classroom, the teacher typically teaches the lesson in advance, allowing students to watch the videos and complete exercises independently.
2. Teachers’ expectations of student participation
Teachers’ expectations of student participation
It’s important to remember that teachers are humans. They aren’t robots, and they have human weaknesses. If you want to work in education, it’s vital to understand their expectations.
For example, I once worked in a school where teachers expected all students to participate in class. If they didn’t, they could be penalized with negative grades.
Other schools were less strict, but some teachers still expected students to participate. I’ve also seen schools where teachers were more lenient towards their students, but their students weren’t interested.
There are no rules or hard and fast guidelines. It’s all about finding a school that works for you.
3. Students’ expectations of teachers
Students’ expectations of teachers are the biggest factor in determining their happiness.
Teachers need to understand this because it directly impacts their ability to help students achieve their goals.
A study by the University of Melbourne found that if teachers know students’ expectations, they can better align them with reality.
To start with, you need to know what students expect from teachers. This can be done by asking students or reviewing student reviews on sites like Glassdoor.
You can begin incorporating this into your teaching style as you learn more. For example, if you notice that a particular student is having trouble with a concept, you might ask them how they feel about the idea.
Another way to do this is to ask students to write a review on your teaching style.
4. Students’ expectations of themselves
It’s easy to assume that all students are the same. There is a wide range of personalities and life experiences among them.
You might not realize this, but if you ask a student what their expectations are for themselves, you’ll get a completely different answer from the one you’d get from a teacher.
Here’s a little experiment you can try at home. Ask a kid what they want to do after high school. If you’re lucky, they’ll tell you, “I want to be a professional basketball player.”
Now, ask a teacher what they expect from students. You’ll probably get something like, “Students should be respectful, motivated, hardworking, and self-disciplined.”
The difference in these answers is huge. It’s almost like the kids see education differently than the teachers do.
The reason why is that children have an inflated sense of self-importance. They believe they’re smarter and more capable than they are.
This is why it’s so difficult for some students to perform well. It’s a combination of self-confidence and self-esteem issues.
Frequently asked questions About the culture of a school
Q: What do you like about school?
A: I like the people I am surrounded by, the teachers and my friends.
Q: What’s something you don’t like about school?
A: I wouldn’t say I like it when we have study hall because I have to sit in front of the computer all day. I prefer to go outside and get fresh air.
Q: How do you spend your free time?
A: I spend it with my family and friends.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not in school?
A: I like shopping, watching movies, or hanging out with friends.
Top myths about the culture of a school
1. The school has a culture? It must be a cult!
2. There should be some system that everyone follows.
3. Everyone should have to do something.
4. All schools have a culture of bullying, racism, sexism, and homophobia.
5. All schools are like prisons.
In high school, I didn’t feel like I was learning much. The teacher seemed to know what was happening in class, but the students struggled to grasp concepts.
The culture of a school is very important because it influences how students behave. Students will act similarly if the school has a positive, friendly, and welcoming culture.