Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #51
Just read this on the importance of classroom culture and community -
This is based on a study out of Loyola University (2011): "In schools where teachers explicitly taught the social skills of small-group interaction (active listening, turn-taking, agreeably disagreeing), the students gained an average of 11 percent on both their course grades and on the high-stakes standardized tests given in their state . . . We know plenty of schools that would kill for an 11 percent score gain -- and this came not from test prep, but from teaching kids how to act friends and supportive toward each other."
Focus on culture. I can hit all the standards and cover the curriculum, but if I don’t FIRST show students how much I care, I’m not being effective.
I once asked a student if they were taking a specific class. The student shook their head, no.
Surprised, I asked why not.
The student replied that the teacher was nice but never once inspired her/him. I never once felt that the teacher cared about anything I ever did.
Now you might say that such a student is just robbing himself/herself of a rich learning experience. And you can even go so far as to say that such a student shouldn’t expect a lot of classroom culture in college.
But I would counter with that a teacher lost out on a phenomenally talented kid. Worse yet, how many other students do they lose out on and leave uninspired? As for college, you can tell the professors who do have a great culture, for they have the same small horde of students taking all of their classes.