Factors Affecting Teaching

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  • 0:00 Factors Affecting Teaching
  • 0:38 Parent Expectations
  • 1:15 Parent-Teacher Cooperation
  • 2:46 The Economics of Teaching
  • 4:08 School Policies
  • 5:25 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rachel Tustin

Dr. Rachel Tustin has a PhD in Education focusing on Educational Technology, a Masters in English, and a BS in Marine Science. She has taught in K-12 for more than 15 years, and higher education for ten years.

There are several factors that influence classroom teaching. They include parent expectations with regards to teacher communication, socioeconomic conditions, and school policies such as those related to attendance and discipline.

Factors Affecting Teaching

Imagine walking into a low-income, rural school. What would catch your eye first? Perhaps you notice it's extremely hot, both outside and inside the building. Maybe you note the lack of computers in the classroom or how the library shelves are half empty. There are a variety of factors that influence classroom teaching. Some factors are more obvious, like the physical conditions of the building or the amount of technology present. Others are more subtle and may be related to policy decisions made by schools and districts.

Parent Expectations

Parent expectations play a huge role in classroom teaching practices. In general, parent expectations fall into the categories of personality specific characteristics, professional characteristics, and parent-teacher cooperation. Personality characteristics include traits such as the personality of the teacher. Professional characteristics include traits such as the level of education of the teacher. Personality and professional characteristics may be beyond your immediate control. However, parent-teacher cooperation is an area that teachers can control in terms of influencing education.

Parent-Teacher Cooperation

The term 'cooperation,' is often related to the themes of teamwork and working together. While that's true of many parents-teacher relationships, in the context of parent expectations, research shows that parents see cooperation from a teacher as a constant flow of communication about their child's learning. Research often refers to this flow of communication as parent-teacher cooperation. Parent expectations in regards to establishing cooperation and communication will vary based on the type of school a child attends.

Communication between teachers and parents needs to be appropriate to the parent population working within that school. For example, if teaching an affluent population of students, email may be the primary method of communication that meets the expectations of the parent population. If teaching a poorer population of students, parents may expect phone calls or in-person discussions. In some schools, texting might meet parents' expectations of communication.

Meeting parent expectations is important for their child's academic success. When a teacher meets parent expectations of cooperation and communication, the parent-teacher relationship is stronger. This strength will, in turn, impact parental involvement in the educational process. Increased parental involvement can have positive benefits. For example, a parent may be more aware of their child's schoolwork and involve themselves in ensuring the schoolwork gets done well and is handed in on time. Additionally, it could mean that the parent initiates and responds to communication with the teacher.

The Economics of Teaching

The socioeconomics of a school district will vastly influence teaching. Socioeconomics is where the social factors, such as race, meet the economic factors, such as income. These factors heavily influence teaching and learning in a classroom. Since schools are funded with tax dollars, a school district on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum might receive less funding. Less funding for a school district could result in teachers being paid at the lower end of the salary scale. Low teacher salaries make it more difficult for schools to attract high-quality teachers to their district, where students may need them the most.

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