For teachers only……
Your classrooms environmental feel has a powerful effect on how well your students learn, behave, and interact with each other. Striking a balance between freedom, discipline, and the class pecking order is a skill that can make all the difference between a classroom full of chaos and classroom with controlled chaos. As we know a classroom where children are interacting, learning, and sharing their thoughts and ideas is a classroom that develops the whole child. There is precarious balance to say the least but here are a few guidelines that may help you along the way.
Create an environment where the children are taught the boundaries of the classroom and the reasons for them. Such boundaries can be basic safety, rules of the school, and respect for our classroom teacher and other students.
Listen to the needs and expectations of your students. Not just what they say but their behavior as well. Students who are uncertain, shy, or confused can either be sullen and quite or ”act out.“ There is a fine line between the two. Learn to read your students body language it will be the best thing you have ever done...
Offer suggestions and feedback. In a supportive manner not a punitive one. Share your thoughts and utilize the first person when speaking to your students. An example could be, ”I feel as if you may not be understanding the assignment, let me try to help“, or, I think that other student may have hurt your feelings and for that I am sorry but you need to attend to class right now. Thank you“ By speaking to students in this manner you is showing them that their feelings and thoughts are important and that you respect them for that. Please remember to gain respect it must first be given...
Be committed to serve as a resource to the student. Let them know of services in the area they may take advantage of, such as tutoring, or club’s they might be interested in. Again respect their individually and you will receive it back two fold.
Encourage your student to explore new areas. Again this is where the I statements play a key part. By starting with I you are showing individual respect and example could be ”I believe that you can compete in this one are because I have seen you“ (give example of a positive behavior you had witnessed).
Follow-up with commitments to the student. Ask them how they are doing. Did they take advantage of something you may have suggested? If you offered your support make sure that you have followed up with that. Ask the student if it worked? Be positive, ask for assistance, and let them know that you care for their success.
Identify the goals of the student. Help students see that you’re committed to their education. Setting maintaining and reviewing each students goals will show your commitment, and will gain you respect in the students eyes.
Encourage the student to develop to the fullest, both personally and professionally. You may do this by showing and expecting respect in your classroom. Share the good of each student and use this to help ease their struggles.
Assist the student in developing and charting his/her personal goal path. Offer each student a goal charting sheet where they may see even the slightest success. This will in turn encourage them to continue on the path.
Recommend pursuits that will help develop specific areas in the student advancement (e.g., written or oral communication skills.) Share your experiences, your thoughts, and ideas. Help them see that there are many avenues to complete each task and that not everyone does the same thing the same way each time.
All in all if we add these simple principles in our class each day we will not fail. Expect respect, offer respect, and reward respect...
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