Emotional Learning Environment
The emotional environment of the classroom must also be considered when creating a positive learning environment. To ensure the children establish a positive emotional bond with the teacher, they need to feel as though they are part of the class and that they are respected as individuals (Konza et al. 2001). When the students feel that the teacher cares about them, they will perform better and listen to the teacher. Therefore Caitlin, in order to develop a positive emotional environment, you can do the following:
Arrive at School Early
By arriving at school early, you have time to prepare the classroom for the day and be ready to greet the students when they arrive at school. Whilst the students are hanging their bags, you can stand at the classroom door and greet each student, using their first name, as they enter class. This develops a positive rapport with the students as the teacher gets the opportunity to ask about each student’s personal interests and well-being (Konza et al. 2001).
Be a Positive Role Model
By interacting with students in a positive manner, you can create positive relationships with the students (Whitton, Sinclair, Barker, Nanlohy & Nosworthy 2004). Caitlin, in some cases, you will be the only positive influence in these students lives so it is important to interact with the students positively. Should you see the students outside of school, greet them and interact positively as their teacher. At all times, show enthusiasm and motivation for school activities then the students will be more likely to be motivated (Balson 1996).
Communicate with Students
When communicating with the students, ensure they have your full attention and maintain positive eye contact (Konza et al. 2001). Always use the student’s first name when talking to them and use a positive classroom tone. Have a sense of humour when talking to the students, as this can be used to defuse a tense situation by lightening up the situation. It can also be used to demonstrate that learning is fun and life shouldn’t be taken so seriously. When asking a student a request, say thanks instead of please so they know that you presume they are going to do what you ask (Wishart 2009). Further information can be found under Communicating with Students.
Develop Rules and Routines
When developing class rules and routines, use the whole class in the discussion to include everyone’s input (Whitton et al. 2004). More information can be found about rules and routines at Rules, Rights and Responsibilities.
Praise Positive Behaviour
If a student is displaying positive behaviour, praise them in front of the rest of the class (Konza et al. 2001). Eg. Josie is sitting beautifully today or Cameron is working lovely and quietly on his writing today. The students will then know what behaviour is expected of them and they will change their behaviour to get praise from the teacher.
Don’t Embarrass Students
Try not to embarrass the students in front of their peers (Rogers 2007). If they need to be spoken to about an issue, do it quietly in a place where the other students cannot hear.
Build each Students Self Esteem
When talking with students, use positive language and try to build up the students self esteem (Whitton et al. 2004). You can also do little things to improve each students self esteem, such as create birthday cards for students and get the whole class to sign them and if a student is sick, send them a ‘get well’ card signed by the class (Konza et al. 2001). A number of activities can be done in the classroom to build the student’s self esteem such as alliteration poems where students spell out their name and write an adjective for each letter of their name and display it around the classroom.
Rogers, B 2007, Behaviour Management: A Whole-School Approach, 2nd edn, Paul Chapman Publishing, London, UK.
Whitton, D, Sinclair C, Barker K, Nanlohy P, & Nosworthy M 2004, Learning for Teaching: Teaching for Learning, Thomson Social Science Press, South Melbourne, VIC.