With time, schools have developed innovative teaching methods by integrating technology and new curriculum into their learning philosophy. And while the quality of education holds significant importance, the core learning experience still resides in the classroom.
Think of the classroom environment as the third teacher, with parents and the homeroom teacher holding the first and second positions for the optimal development of children. The preparation goes beyond the physical organization and focuses more on stimulating the learning process. A positive and inspiring classroom also increases students’ focus and ensures their well-being.
In this guide, let’s take a look at some strategies to help you curate a positive classroom environment and successfully prepare students for their future endeavors.
Similar to home design, classroom environments are also a personal area of interest for students and teachers. The physical area should make the team feel comfortable, safe, and welcome. After all, students and teachers spend as much time in their classrooms as in their respective homes. And don’t worry! There is no need to create a Pinterest-worthy classroom.
Some tips to ensure a well-defined classroom environment include:
Organize functional-themed stations to engage the children and connect them to different learning disciples. When setting up the areas, make sure each station has its own goal or task. Students should also have the opportunity to participate regularly in each setting to differentiate their learning process. Some examples of learning stations include:
Undoubtedly, children should feel welcomed in the classroom. They should also have the freedom to explore and speak – but within the boundaries assigned by the teacher. Rules and expectations in the classroom are important for students to understand acceptable behavior. However, ensure the rules are reasonable, acceptable, and inclusive for every child. You can also include children in the development process and let them create one or two rules.
The rules should be conveyed to the students in the initial week of class. Draft the rules so they are easily understood by the age group. You should also discuss the rewards and consequences of following or not following the rules to leverage your control over the classroom.
The students should have a predictable schedule in the classroom to promote positive behavior. Established routines would also reduce disruption and enforce a seamless transition between different activities. Some examples of routines to integrate into the classroom include:
The students should have the opportunity to speak and collaborate in the classroom. You must make them feel empowered by allowing them to participate in discussions and give their feedback. You can also let them work in groups or pairs to foster partnerships and communication.
Another way to support their learning process is to give children a choice of tasks. Of course, you should be ok with both choices. But kids are more empowered when they have the responsibility of deciding. This also builds self-confidence and accountability for their choices.
The children of today have evolved – just like the digital world around us. They are no longer confined to their seats and the traditional methods of reciting lessons. Now, students are more accustomed to project-based, hands-on, and learner-centered methods.
Plus, they require more than a blackboard and a couple of textbooks to optimize their learning. Instead, they find more relevancy in casual classroom environments. They also require innovative equipment, including laptops, whiteboards, multimedia, and apps, to foster their learning. However, make sure the technology and methods implemented in the curriculum don’t distract students from their goals.
Creating an inspiring classroom environment is ongoing work, regardless of whether you are a new or an experienced teacher. By following the above tips, educators can create an inspiring and positive space for students to learn and grow.
Remember, the role of your classroom is not limited to aesthetics. Instead, the classroom should foster belonging in the students and foster a love for learning. Teachers have the privilege of shaping their student’s learning journey and future. With careful improvements in the classroom environment, we can inspire the children’s ambition – even within the four walls. Good luck and happy teaching!
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