Classroom climate in a rural school context: reflection, modification, and improvement in the science classroom
Kessler, Aaron William
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When the tardy bell rings and the door closes behind the last student, a very peculiar thing happens. In an age that promotes complete and total connectivity, classrooms are very often being ran in isolation. Only during passing periods or time outside of the teacher/students class periods do conversations regarding student behavior, best practices and classroom climate take place amongst the teachers. This study was an attempt to modify this common occurrence and challenge teachers to learn from their peers during the most critical part of the school day, the time teachers and students were interacting during class time. Instructors observed their own students in different settings, commonly exhibiting different strengths and weaknesses academically, socially and behaviorally. Observing teachers learned from other teacher's good instructional strategies as well as learned from watching poor teaching strategies. Professional conversations regarding what happened during each aspect of the class period were held. Teachers collaboratively identified what works and what needs to be modified to work better. The results of the surveys that were given to the participating teachers indicated that for the first time in many of their careers, they feel that they had an honest assessment of their classroom climate as well as new strategies and teaching methods that could transform their teaching.