Creating a Caring Classroom
By: Elizabeth Ventura
Teachers should model acceptance and show interest in their students. Students learn more from teachers they like, therefore it's important to build a relationship with students.Teachers can make students decorate a name tag, that way the teacher and the rest of the class can learn each other's names quickly. On the first day of school, the teacher can introduce themselves through a PowerPoint, questionnaire, or even a video. It is also convenient to create a collage of their life near their desk. This collage could include where they went to school, and a variety of their personal interests. Teachers can promote relationships within their classrooms in a variety of ways. High school teachers can focus on teamwork by having group assignments, while elementary school teachers can teach a lesson on friendship. Many teachers ask students to create an "All About Me" project about themselves, that way the rest of the class can also get to know them.
Teachers can only expect respect from their students when they themselves are showing respect. Respect is an essential element to the class environment. Students must be able to show respect to each other, and the teacher must not allow disrespect among the students. Teachers can promote respect by having more group assignments. This helps students learn to interact with each other to get an assignment done. Certain assignments, like building science models, or drawing a huge picture requires a lot of input from different students. By working together, students learn to share their ideas without feeling as if their ideas will be rejected. Also, teachers can show respect to their students by greeting them when they walk in the door. If students feel wanted in the class, they bring more positive energy to the teacher. Lessons on respect promotes a sense of community within the classroom.
Students feel their opinions are valued when the teacher asks for student input to the classroom. Students can share solutions for class problems on the board. Certain things like warm ups or closures promote student involvement. Teachers can also create class discussions or Socratic seminars, enabling students to share their ideas to the rest of the class. When students get good grades, the teacher can post their work on the walls of the class. Activities like open house can promote student involvement because students would want to have their work displayed on class walls for their parents to see. These methods help the teacher create an inviting class where students are always welcome to share and discuss their ideas to the teacher, and all other students in the class.
Students must see themselves as a group in order for the classroom to have a sense of community. Classroom traditions can strengthen the class bond. Every student should feel they are included in class events. The class can have a saying such as "We will all succeed together." This helps students feel as if they all are a part of the same team, such as being in a sports, dance, or debate team. Little things like having a class pet can create a class community. Being social, helping classmates, working as a team, and creating class traditions are all methods that establish a classroom's identity.