I can’t believe it is November already! The plants that my wife and I planted in my yard the 1st of May are still alive and the trees are just starting to turn. I used to think that climate change due to man’s activities (global warming) was largely a myth. In geographical time, our weather records occur in a mere nano second, but one can hardly argue with the fact that the earth has warmed significantly in the past three decades. Part of a natural pattern? Maybe. Has it been exacerbated by man’s activities…….hard to fight the evidence?.?! Our environment/climate is a very dynamic system with many variables that influence its status. The school climate is not quite as dynamic but there are many factors that influence the environment in which our students operate on a daily basis. Teachers are one of the most important variables that affect the educational environment. As mentioned in the last post our English III classes are researching and preparing to propose what a new high school should include from their perspective. Many of our students have been in my office to interview me about staffing and teacher responsibilities. I have told them them that teachers along with parental involvement key the probability of student success. When asked what constitutes a good teacher I have responded by telling the students that a good teacher is one who teaches students first and their subject second. A good teacher is willing to experiment and allow students to direct their own learning while providing the guidance and expectations to challenge them to grow both intellectually as well as socially. They know how to manage their classroom with respect and through their actions and caring, demand respect from their students. Just like it seems as though our environment has changed because of man’s activities and we must adjust, the learning environment has changed because of the media, computers and the exponential growth of information. In order to survive mankind will likely need to make changes in how we live. Likewise, in order to educate our students we must adjust to the changing factors that influence the educational environment!