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Tool: Identifying a supportive environment

An element of moral and ethical behavior that seriously affects the quality of schools is reflected in the will to do, as opposed to the refusal to do. Adults in our profession have been hearing many voices. Some of the voices have been saying “Take the easy way. Collect your pay—as bad as it is. Don’t expect much from these kids. Just look at their families. Why should I put in long hours doing what no one appreciates? It’s all about testing anyway.”

Purpose of this tool: Think about the requirements of building spirit in a faculty and staff and engendering teachers’ desire for excellence. A supportive environment is critical for beginning teachers as well as for all others. This tool could help you to study your school as a place for beginning teachers to make a good start.

How to use this tool: Spend a few minutes with the questions below. Ideally, you will respond in writing and include specific examples as verification. Ask mentors and other veteran teachers to consider the questions, too. Discuss the results.

Identifying a supportive environment for beginning teachers

  1. How do people in our professional learning community treat one another?
  2. What are the greatest ethical challenges we face as a professional learning community? Have we articulated them?
  3. Does each member of the professional learning community make learning the focus of his or her work?
  4. Does each member take full responsibility for the learning of every student?
  5. Do I see professionals encouraging students to take responsibility of their own learning? For their behaviors?
  6. Are we developing habits of good practice by building in structures and time for discussions about student data, parental input, ways to improve teaching and progress toward our vision?
  7. What are the beginning teachers in our building learning?

Are you satisfied? If not, then…