A positive classroom environment accelerates the holistic development of students. When students engage, interact, and learn in a stimulating environment, it directly reflects their well-being, academic and growth chart.
Teachers can create that positive culture in the classroom with a few things in practice.
Here are a few tips to help educators build positive classroom culture.
Prepare The Classroom
Students will be getting back to school in full swing this year. And before the transition phase brings you real challenges, we recommend you be prepared beforehand and work on all small little things that can make the transition easy and help you create a positive classroom culture. Welcoming learners to a new classroom environment can help them with the initial inhibitions and will set the pace for the year ahead. Classroom displays play a significant role as that is the first thing students see as they enter the classroom. You can consider a few things for your classroom displays: layout, functionality, colour scheme and theme. Dedicating a theme to each classroom wall, like nature, pets, or inspiring quotes can change how students feel. Sticking to a colour theme and organizing all displays neatly and uniformly can make it look very well. The walls will look pleasing to the eyes and bring students a sense of calmness.
Utilize the space in your classroom and think of the best plan to arrange the furniture to create the best flow. Make sure your classroom facilitates learning and positively influences the classroom environment. Embrace, including personal touches such as plants, rugs, or cushions. Along with the seating plan for students, consider where learners' learning material will go to be easily accessible to them. You can aim to create a sense of belonging for students in the classroom by displaying artwork from each of your students right at the start of the school year.
Manage Your Classroom
It would help if you had some rules in place right from the beginning. This will ensure that the classroom environment is healthy and students are more likely to have a positive learning experience. A few tips that can help you in managing the classroom are as follows:
- Involve students in setting the guidelines and rules for the classroom. Understand their inputs and focus on creating a rule set that will help create a positive classroom culture.
- In classroom discussions, you may witness dominant participation from a set of students, while some may like to sit back and listen. It would help if you facilitated discussions in a way that all students engage. Work towards creating an inclusive environment. You must read these Classroom Inclusivity Tips For Teachers to strike that balance where all children engage in learning.
Being a new teacher to the students, you can work on the student-teacher relationship. Fostering good relations with your students will help you have a healthy classroom culture. Small things can make a big difference. Listen to what your students have to say. For instance, you can ask students to arrange the cupboard, manage the library books, and ask about weekly discussion topics. Building your classroom as a community will keep the learners happy and inclusive.
Set High Expectations For Your Students
High expectations for students regarding their work and behaviour can help them in the long run. Expect that students will do well and encourage them by showing that you believe in them. Provide appropriate learning support for all students. High expectations are all about the Growth Mindset. Student achievement greatly depends on what their teachers expect of them, and you should expect and support your students by all means.
Use Surveys And Check-In With Students Now And Then
Conducting a class survey to understand your students and their personalized needs is great for starting the year. It'll help you cater to their individual educational needs, understand them better, and function better in the classroom. The survey will help you know their likes, dislikes, hobbies, interests, learning styles, etc. Throughout the year, keep conducting the survey quarterly or as you feel the need of it. You can include this as a part of the feedback process, where you'd be able to work on your teaching styles.
Build Positive Relationships
The student-teacher relationship is key to positive learning outcomes for students and overall classroom culture. You must aim for a positive open relationship with clear two-way communication and the comfort of reaching out to the teacher for any help. Make sure your students feel understood and heard, and they can reach out to you if they feel like it.
Use Effective and Evidence-Based Teaching - Learning Practices
Make sure you feed the learning styles of students. Experiment with different pedagogies, take input from students and work on a plan that best fits students' learning needs. Providing engaging learning content, multimedia, and new tech tools to mix and oomph things up. Here are a few resources that can help you make the best teaching plans for your students:
- eLearning & Teaching Tips For Educators To Use: these tips will help you navigate better as you teach in virtual environments. It comprises strategies you can use to make online teaching effective for students.
- Best Practices for Teaching outlines the major pillars contributing to making successful e-courses just the right way. These can help you make your teaching plans student cantered.
Encourage collaboration and co-creation
Collaboration is a skill that develops many others as students practice it. When students work together, they learn more than the material at hand. They learn to communicate better, support, lead, listen, negotiate, empathize, etc. It's a great way to foster these soft skills in students and critical and creative things. Projects, presentations, group activities, and peer assessments are great ways to make students work together. This allows students the creative expression freedom they need to express themselves and helps them develop social skills. The resources mentioned below will be handy as you work on ways to provide student collaboration opportunities.
- Critical Thinking Activities Recommended for Teachers to Implement in the Classroom: It enlists activities teachers can implement to help students develop critical thinking skills and prepare them for a better future.
- Popular Games and Activities to Develop Social Skills in Children: Access games & activities that you can use in the classroom to help students develop essential social skills.
- Comprehensive Guide to Classroom Activities to Help Students Develop the Essential Skills: This post mentions classroom activities for Creative Thinking, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Entrepreneurship, and Inquiry-Based Learning/Student Engagement that'll help students develop all the 21st-century skills.
Add Meaning To Learning
Adding experiences to learning and making it meaningful for students can work wonders. It'll not only engage the learner, but they'll be able to connect with what they're learning, making it effective. Try to bring life to the learning concepts. You can do so by taking students on a field trip to explain the plant lesson, making them experiment in the science lab to teach the science topics, and making students do the literature play they adore. Adding multimedia and tech content can increase engagement and provide students with real-life experiences through technologies like AR and VR.
Give Rewards In The Classroom
Rewards can motivate students like no other, so it makes sense to incorporate tangible and non-tangible rewards in the classroom. Using positive praise, students of the week and such strategies can help you generate a positive culture in the classroom. Tangible rewards can be the reward for consecutively performing well and getting the intangible reward. For instance, if a student has been the week's student over three times in a quarter, s/he can earn a prize. This will motivate students to do better and improve in the classroom environment. The rewards could be as simple as 10 minutes of free time, a prize from the prize box, stickers, etc.
How do you create a positive culture in the classroom? Please share with us in the comment section below.