Learning depends on not just the quality of the textbooks and their teachers, but also the safety and comfort that they are exposed to in the school environment, and the magnitude of their relationship with the peers and adults there (Smith, 2017). Therefore, by offering an academically challenging yet supportive environment can significantly boost both the student's learning and copying capabilities. Open door policies can be incorporated in the studies where the students can get learn how to open up to their teachers on matters that affect their ability to perform well in school. An open-door policy is a strategy used in communication whereby the school's principal of administrators or other delegated leaders within the school allow the staff and the employees or other stakeholders to visit the school including the offices to discuss issues, get or give feedback, ask questions, share ideas and report problems that affect the students and staff performance. Therefore, open-door policies tend to increase collaboration between the staff, students, and the management thereby promoting mutual trust and respect. Mounting evidence from fields such as cognitive psychology and neuroscience as well as research on issues such as turnaround implementation have shown that, high-stress environments where the students feel chronically uncared for, and unsafe make it emotionally and physically challenging for them to learn because they are more likely to drop out or act out (Stillman et al., 2018).
Embracing the open door policy in schools significantly reduces the conflict between the principal, students and the teacher because the policy helps to clarify and justify seemingly unreasonable demands by the students and the administration. Moreover, students who engage in the open-door policy and extracurricular activities have an added advantage which tends to outweigh other students who do not actively participate in the program.
Ultimately, administrators should focus on creating and developing conducive learning environments that provide holistic support and adopt a comprehensive approach that is essential to improve the school learning climate, as opposed to a system that is characterized with frequent bullying. Smith (2017), argues that the cognitive and executive function regulation is a set of building blocks that are targeted by many social and emotional learning programs and are easier to adopt in most learning environments. Additionally, the teachers can adopt open-door policies, and other relevant skills that can be incorporated into the development of a conducive learning environment include the engaging of students in planning conflict resolutions, identifying other's and own social cues and emotions, and monitoring the smooth transition from one step to another (Smith, 2017).
Thus, this communication strategy works better and is quicker to address the most pressing issues, than having the staff wait for appointments with their administrators to report the issues or submit written reports, and wait a few more days to receive feedback. Therefore, the parents, teachers, and students can become annoyed and demotivated for having to wait too long for a positive response. Consequently, discipline matters are handled and addressed in this platform promptly for penalties to be effective. In contrast, embracing the open-door policy in schools makes. The goal of utilizing the open-door policy in learning institutions is to encourage discussions that involve the school fraternity about important issues, solve problems more quickly and effectively, and enable the gathering of crucial information regarding the school (Brackett & Rivers, 2014). This process allows for the school principals to speed up progress towards agreed upon school goals. Additionally, an open-door policy allows the schools to provide adequate and appropriate learner environments through spreading academic knowledge and skills, and also promoting the social responsibilities of the students. Also, open-door policies encourage optimum inclusiveness of the teachers, parents, and the students (Brackett & Rivers, 2014).
However, when operating an open-door policy, the principals of various schools will at times need to redirect some of the problems and issues to their junior's administrators and senior staff, department heads, and guidance counselors to assist in problem resolution and resolving matters at hand. Consequently, this will reassure the senior staff and non-teaching staff members that they are not being overlooked or bypassed. Hence, the teachers will remain an integral part of the management team, and as a result motivate the students to look at life more positively (Johns, Crowley & Guetzloe, 2017).Therefore, involving students and teachers as equals, and encouraging the open-door policy for solving problems is essential because the students can learn how to make an independent decision, and they can express their inner feelings and perceptions about the learning environment and experience. With the open-door policy, relationships in schools significantly improve in this environment. It also increases performance and productivity because the various problems that affect students and their teachers are discussed and addressed in the best ways possible. Hence, the principals and teachers become more accessible, and they get the chance to provide better mentorship to the students. Therefore, students can also drive change in their learning environment because they are not vessel to be filled with knowledge at school (Smith, 2017).
Brackett, M. A., & Rivers, S. E. (2014). Transforming students' lives with social and emotional learning. International handbook of emotions in education, 368.
Johns, B. H., Crowley, E. P., & Guetzloe, E. (2017). The central role of teaching social skills. Focus on Exceptional Children, 37(8).
Smith, S. (2017). Responding to the Unique Social and Emotional Learning Needs of Gifted Australian Students. Social and Emotional Learning in Australia and the Asia-Pacific, 147-166. doi:10.1007/978-981-10-3394-0_8
Stillman, S. B., Stillman, P., Martinez, L., Freedman, J., Jensen, A. L., & Leet, C. (2018). Strengthening social-emotional learning with the student, teacher, and schoolwide assessments. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 55, 71-92. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2017.07.010
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