How to Create a Climate for Learning

The most important action an effective teacher takes at the beginning of the year is creating a climate for learning.

The most widespread management technique at home and in the classroom is nag, nag, nag. It’s also probably the least effective.

How can you avoid making that technique your own and create a climate for learning? Education World looks to the experts -teachers who’ve “been there, done that” and found a better way - for answers.

 

Following are what teachers suggest:

Develop a set of written expectations you can live with and enforce.

Be consistent. Be consistent. Be consistent.

Be patient with yourself and with your students.

Make parents your allies. Call early and often. Use the word ‘concerned’. When communicating a concern, be specific and descriptive.

Don’t talk too much. Use the first 15 minutes of class for lectures or presentations, then get the kids working.

Break the class period into two or three different activities. Be sure each activity segues smoothly into the next.

Begin at the very beginning of each class period and end at the very end.

Don’t roll call. Take the roll with your seating chart while students are working.

Keep all students actively involved. For example, while a student does a presentation, involve the other students in evaluating it.

Discipline individual students quietly and privately. Never engage in a disciplinary conversation across the room.

Keep your sense of perspective and your sense of humor.

Know when to ask for help.

 

To be effective as a teacher you should:

Show respect for each child and for his or her family.

Make efficient use of learning time.

Provide a safe and comfortable environment that’s conducive to learning.

Help each child grow to his or her fullest potential.

Provide meaningful and appropriate homework activities.

Enforce school and classroom rules fairly and consistently.

Supply students and parents with clear evaluations of progress and achievement.

Use special activities in the classroom to make learning enjoyable.

Demonstrate professional behavior and a positive attitude.

Once students are in the classroom, you should:

Establish eye contact.

Move around the room and increase proximity to restless students.

Send a silent signal.

Give a quiet reminder.

Re-direct a student’s attention.

Offer a choice.

Use humor.

Provide positive reinforcement.

Wait quietly until everyone is on task.

Ask a directed question.

 

And, when all else fails, try something else!

Creating a climate for learning is probably the most important - and most difficult - task a teacher faces, but it can be even more difficult for beginning teachers. Setting the classroom environment is key. For a new teacher that means pretending that you know what you’re doing.

 

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