When the morning bell rings and students hurry into school, we hope they come ready to succeed. Educators can help these students start on the right foot by focusing on cultivating expectations and attitudes that will translate to great learning. Creating a positive and productive culture in the classroom and school will help develop an ideal learning environment for all students. Here are some ways to help create a great learning environment:
Encourage Students to Lead the Discussion
Students have questions, it’s up to the teacher to make sure they feel comfortable asking them. In fact, setting up a dynamic where students take the lead in the classroom and use their questions to engage and participate will help create a learning environment that allows students to take charge and ownership of their education.
Promote Positive Interactions
There’s no room in learning environments for bullying and teasing. It’s up to the teacher to make sure this doesn’t have a moment to percolate. Students need to know they are entering a safe space from day one. No one should feel threatened or put down. If a student does insult another student, have a policy that requires them to say two kind things about that student. Be consistent with this and make sure you check in with students who seem unhappy. Make each student feel like they matter and have the right to feel positive about themselves in your classroom.
Have a Diverse Criteria for Success
Too often, students are discouraged by the black and white institution of the grading system. Many times not getting an A feels like a failure, or a low score on an exam can defeat a student’s drive to improve. Instead, present ways for students to achieve success that go beyond grades. Let students know their efforts are important. When a student goes above and beyond, whether it’s with participation, helping another student, or taking initiative, they should know they are succeeding.
Keep Open Lines of Communication
As the bustle of a school year goes along, everyone feels the stress including teachers, students and parents. Open lines of communication between teachers and students, and teachers and parents is important. Encourage students to discuss with their parents what they are doing in school. Check in with each student, even for a quick chat to see where they’re at. The more comfortable everyone feels discussing excitement, uncertainties, and curiosities about school work, the more they’ll engage. This helps create a positive learning environment for everyone. Creating a great learning environment is the key to helping students reach their potential and find success. Plus, it will help them promote positivity in all their future endeavors.