How to Identify Good Climate in Your Child's Classroom (page 2)

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Updated on Aug 23, 2010

Red Flags

As much as you want positive class climate for your children, there are classrooms that aren’t positive. If you notice these classroom climate warning signs, talk to your child about how to handle each.

  • Pessimism. Teachers and administrators have the idea that some kids aren’t willing to learn or are lazy. Teachers and the administration are competitive with everything from materials to control over what they do in the classroom.
  • Stagnation. Are the same bulletin boards up each year? Is your youngest, now in 3rd grade, doing the same work that your oldest did when they were in the same grade? A negative climate emerges when teachers refuse to change and insist on doing what they’ve always done, regardless of whether or not it’s best for the kids.
  • Silence. Students are silent all the time, listening to a teacher lecture, or working independently.
  • Strong Discipline. Rules and behavior management are too strong, or punitive, or rules aren’t clear and students don’t know how to behave.
  • Negative Reviews. Your child brings home negative reports or complaints. If your child says negative things about their teacher, talk with them about how to address it. Ask if they’re getting what they need in class—if they love to talk but are never given a chance, that’s a problem. Or, if they’ve loved school until this year, that’s another problem.

If these red flags persist in your child's classroom, set up an meeting to talk to your child's teacher. Make sure the dialogue is open and friendly, rather than accusatory. Make sure you model the positive relationship you want your child to have with his teacher.

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