There is a growing realization that speaking broadly about bullying often masks issues faced by targeted populations of students like hate speech, gender and sexual orientation-based violence, cultural or religious bias and disproportionate school discipline policies.
There is a movement to address these issues by focusing on advocating for positive school climate policies and practices. Improving school professionals’ knowledge and skill when it comes to intervening and advocating in bullying situations is still an important area of concern. However, broadening our scope to school climate is key to preventing bullying, addressing inequities and to advancing education justice and opportunity for all students.
Ensuring positive school climate requires collective action.
Recent research by GLSEN reports that it takes six or more supportive adults to truly make a difference in eradicating negative outcomes, especially those most directly related to academic achievement and postsecondary aspirations.
Only half of students surveyed in the report could name six supportive educators.
Since impacting students’ school experience requires broader educator support and participation, NEA is building and identifying a critical mass among school staff –teachers, ESPs and paraprofessionals, to organize School Climate Teams in their schools.
Already organized? Just getting started? We have tools and resources for you!
Here’s How to Make an Impact!
Educators for Positive School Climate: Getting Started Checklist
Use this checklist as a guide for your team as you take steps that will make your school climate safer and more affirming. As educators we have the power to create a climate that is positive and will allow every student to realize their potential.
Preparing an action plan for the School Climate Campaign is like preparing for the beginning of a school year- get to know our team, understand what issues we face and make a plan for success. So let’s get started!
Create a Winning Team
- Find out more about who is on your team and the unique skills of each member
- Identify any important voices missing from the conversation
- Recruit other team members
- Develop a plan for how the team will stay connected
Understand the Challenges Ahead
- Identify the issues that are critical in your school with this simple school climate survey
- Deepen your understanding of how those issues play out in your school and community
- Write down who these issues effect and the impact that has on your school and community
Make a Plan for Action
- Identify the causes of the issues your students, school and community are facing
- Set specific and measurable goals (i.e. changes to school policy or district policy)
- Powermap your school community
- Develop a plan for action
- Make sure your plan will allow you to meet your overall goals
- Measure your impact and evaluate your progress along the way