Creating a Classroom Where Students are Happy and Focused
Dear Ask a Teacher,
How can I create a positive and productive classroom environment for all my students? I want my students to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas without fear of ridicule or risk of censure.
Positively In Charge
Hello, Positively in charge!
Teachers play an important role in setting the classroom environment. In fact, the way students interact with each other and the work in front of them is largely dictated by this it. And creating a positive class environment is invaluable for building trust and getting results.
When it comes to setting a positive classroom culture, a good place to start is with core values.
Which values, mindsets, and people skills do you want to encourage? If you can settle on three to four core values to consistently model and reinforce in your classroom, you’re likely to end up with the environment you want.
Below are four of the most popular core values along with ideas on how to make them part of your class culture.
Whether introverts or extroverts, your students will need to work in teams throughout their lives so getting them invested in teamwork can pay off. If students see the value in supporting one another, there will be plenty of hands to help a struggling student, even when you aren’t available.
One great way to build teamwork when using Typing.com is to give students a typing buddy. Pairs of students can be responsible for checking in with each other on a weekly basis to find out how their partner is progressing on his or her typing goals, what lesson s/he is working on, and any frustrations they may be facing. By working in teams, students build social and collaboration skills.
Encourage autonomous problem-solving. This is a great value to emphasize because, at the end of the day, you want students to be able to solve problems on their own.
For example, when using technology, teach your students basic computer troubleshooting. At the start of the year, create a checklist of potential problems and solutions. Then make sure they review the checklist and try to fix any issues before coming to you for help. Check out our eBook on Managing Students and Computers in the Classroom for more tips on helping your students learn to troubleshoot.
This may be one of the hardest and most important values to instill in students. Perseverance is all about continuing to work, even in the face of real or perceived failure. So how can you teach your kids to not give up, even when things seem impossible? One way to start is by celebrating those who take (safe) risks, make mistakes, and keep trying.
In Typing.com, you might have a student that is having a hard time improving their WPM but they stick with the lessons and finish with 98% accuracy. Share their achievement with the class, and recognize the student for their stick-with-it-ness!
Sometimes, attitude is everything. And when thinking about the attitude students should bring into the classroom, what could be better than optimism? What’s more, optimism is contagious. Optimistic students also tend to show increased academic achievement as well as engagement with academic content and mastering skills.
So what’s the best way to promote optimism? Model it. If you are positive and bright in the face of a difficult task, your students will see how that positivity helps bring about success (and makes the task at hand seem not so scary).
For typing, a great way to promote positivity is through goal setting. By rallying students around what you know they can accomplish, everyone is more likely to keep their heads up and smile.
What about you? What are the most important values in your classroom? And what do you do to reinforce them?