We often talk about a student’s love of learning as being crucial for their success in school. But what about their love of school itself? In recent years, educators have begun thinking more and more about the impact that a school’s feeling can have on how well children perform, something experts call “school climate.” Broadly defined, school climate encompasses “the feelings and attitudes elicited by a school’s environment”. These emotions create a subjective viewpoint for students, parents, and faculty members towards the school that shapes how much they feel tied to the institution.
On a warm July day in southwest Denver, eight 12-year-olds line up outside of Room 123 at Henry World Middle School with smiles on their faces. It’s an unusual sight to see. While most kids their age are spending this time playing soccer or video games, these kids are preparing to enter their first period math class.
Their teacher comes into the hall to greet them. He’s a bit lanky, wears a plaid button-up shirt with a small notebook in the front pocket, and barely looks old enough to be considered an adult.
“Good morning, mathematicians!” he says in a cheery tone.
“Good morning, Mr. Jordan,” they respond in unison. And the fun begins.