Further Reading: The Importance of a Good Work Environment
The Importance of a Good Work Environment
The work environment for teachers relates to the conduciveness of the physical and psychological environment at the schools where teachers work and develop professionally. The work environment has a direct impact on the quality of teaching and the capacity to retain teachers.
School environments, especially in larger schools in urban areas, can be noisy and crammed, which can impact on a teacher’s wellbeing and performance. Like in any other organisation, schools may also face various forms of leadership and interpersonal tensions. Some teachers, especially new teachers, may not be comfortable in front of a class or may be intimidated by bullies amongst the pupils. It may also be stressful for teachers to teach subjects they are not comfortable with. Finally, instances of peer bullying or harassment in the work environment may cause fear or anxiety.
It is important for the performance and wellbeing of teachers and pupils that the school environment is orderly, clean, and conveniently planned and arranged, and that it is healthy and safe. There should be WASH and hygiene facilities and green outdoor spaces, and sufficient space should be allocated for teachers to meet one another, relax between classes and prepare lessons or correct pupil’s assignments. For pupils, there must be playgrounds and spaces for socialising between classes.
In the age of climate change with numerous threats to the natural environment, including severe pollution from production, waste and plastic, it is essential schools educating the country’s future citizens are at the forefront of environmental protection. School leaders must adopt measures to protect the environment in and around schools and involve teachers and pupils actively in the process. By starting in and around schools, practices can become the norm in all spheres of human activity.
The responsibility of ensuring a conducive work environment rests largely with those who design, construct and furnish the school, and, once in use, school leaders, SMC / BoGs and the authorities who quality assure, inspect and supervise the conditions and running of the school.
Who is responsible
Overall responsibility for design, construction and lay out of schools, and for quality assurance, supervision and inspection once operational.
Responsible for providing guidelines for the physical and psychological work environment in schools and for checking standards.
Responsible for organising and maintaining a conducive work climate at the school
Oversees the work climate and environment at the school.