Creating a positive environment in the classroom
A positive classroom environment comes from the interaction of faculty and students in the curriculum. Here are some tips that can help you maintain the positive energy that is so helpful for creating an effective learning climate.
Model the positive enthusiasm as a teacher that you hope your students will demonstrate when they come to your class. You’ve got to lead the way when it comes to establishing a positive energy. You’ve got to communicate your excitement in the topic and the feeling that this is the best place that we can be for the next two hours.
Keep in mind the connection of this particular class to be positive goal at the end of the course or the semester or the school year were the degree program. We’ve got to see how each of these lessons contributes to the greater whole. In that way we can tap into the positive energy associated with the ultimate goal.
We’ve got to remember that we are social animals involved in a collaborative learning process in the classroom. As such, we’ve got to acknowledge our human need for connection and authenticity. Try starting each class with a check in in which everyone has an opportunity to share those pieces of their lives outside the classroom that they find important. It helps us appreciate who they are and it brings a rich human dimension to the classroom environment that will pay off and everything else that we do.
Similarly, we want to end each class with a check out to give everyone a chance to acknowledge what it is that was most meaningful for them or perhaps even their biggest unanswered questions.
Another technique is to solicit those biggest unanswered questions at the end of our class in order for you to do some follow-up research that you will get back to them in writing within 48 hours. In this way there is a sense of a continuing adventure into knowledge associated with your class that makes them want to come back for more.
Finally,nmake sure you are encouraging rich participation of the students. You can do this by asking them to do some outside reading and bring in one new fact or resource not contained in the syllabus in order to introduce an element of surprise to our discussions. It’s amazing how valuable these outside contributions can be.
Good luck and keep up the flow!
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