A positive classroom environment is so important for students; if they don’t have one, they won’t enjoy school, and they won’t learn as well.
It’s a teacher’s job to create a positive classroom environment. We’ve all experienced a grouchy teacher whose class we dreaded, and there’s an extreme difference in a classroom that’s welcoming and fun. All teachers can create a positive classroom environment, and here are some of the most fundamental teaching principles.
Be Fun and Friendly
If you want to create a positive classroom, the best thing you can do is be a positive teacher. You should have a cheery outlook, and you should smile often. Being friendly with your students means being an approachable teacher that they enjoy, but you should also know when it’s necessary to be firm. Have a sense of humor, and enjoy funny moments with students; just be sure to clearly transition back to the lesson at hand. Life doesn’t always have to be so serious.
Get to Know Your Students
Every student you have is a unique individual, and you should treat them as such. Get to know each student by making sure to have one-on-one time with them regularly. Ask them about their interests, hobbies, family, and friends, and try your best to establish an open rapport with them. You don’t need to become their best friend, but you can show them that you genuinely care about them and are interested in them and their opinions.
Communication is a two-way street, and you need to make sure you’re doing your part to foster good communication with your students. Make your expectations clear; communicate them effectively by fully explaining your expectations and how they are and aren’t reached. Make it clear what behaviors are acceptable and what aren’t, and demonstrate and model your expectations. Vague instructions or general guidelines are more difficult for kids to follow.
Be Organized and Prepared
Good organization is so important for teachers, and when you’re well-organized your classroom environment will improve because of it. Poor organization can interrupt the day or make things more challenging for you. You should always be prepared with lesson plans, activities, and alternatives for any potential situation. If you’re prepared and on-the-ball, your students will be, too. If you’re not prepared, they’ll sense it and feel less secure.
Offer Your Students Options
Most of the time children are told what to do, so when they can make their own decisions they feel empowered and good about themselves. Offer your students options; for example, let them choose between two homework assignments, or take classroom votes to choose a lesson plan. Your students will enjoy class more. Offering options also helps students who learn in different ways, as you can offer a variety of ways to learn and practice important skills.
Do you follow these teaching principles? What else do you do to foster a positive environment in your classroom?
About The Author:
Caleb Grant is a writing teacher and grammar enthusiast. He is currently working on a writing project for nanowrimo.