Establishing a sense of community in the classroom is essential for students. A teacher’s goal is to create a classroom environment that is conducive to learning and builds on students’ strengths and weaknesses. As teachers, we have the difficult task of ensuring students receive appropriate learning despite the academic, emotional and social diversities that may exist in the classroom. In a community, we help students learn to work together and build a sense of trust, support and care amongst each other. Ultimately, our classroom instruction should consist of providing opportunities and structure to students in addition to providing support.
Providing students with a positive and safe learning environment are essential and an ultimate goal for all teachers. Teachers have tremendous influence in providing this type of learning environment for all students. Effective classroom management and behavior management strategies are key to an efficient learning environment. When creating classroom rules, students should be allowed to decide as a group which rules they would like to include. This strategy not only creates a sense of ownership of the classroom rules, but it also reduces the chances of inappropriate behaviors. When creating these rules it is essential for the teacher to be a medium and make sure the classroom rules are reasonable and accommodating for all students as well as the teacher. Another way in which students can develop a sense of ownership of the classroom is by assigning classroom jobs. Each student will be responsible for completing a specific task in the classroom. By providing students with classroom jobs, we are allowing them to be involved in the classroom in addition to emphasizing the importance of being responsible.
Moreover, I believe student engagement is imperative in a classroom setting. I am a firm believer that a classroom should be interactive. In other words, teachers should do the best to transform students from passive observers to active learners. In order to accomplish this task, teachers can allow students to work together in groups or work around the classroom out of their seats. By allowing students to work collaboratively with each other, we are promoting student engagement in addition to giving students the opportunity to share their thoughts with one another. Group projects are another way to encourage and promote student engagement. Not only do group projects encourage peer review, but they also give students the opportunity to learn from each other. Lastly, allowing students to provide the teacher with feedback on a lesson or an activity is a great way to maintain students engaged in their learning. This exercise will empower students and send the message that you care about their learning, and you are willing to make changes that will benefit them.
Motivation is another important aspect of classroom management strategies that allows learning to be enjoyable and interesting. Student motivation has to be developed and encouraged at a young age in order for students to appreciate learning. Displaying student work in the classroom is a great way to promote learning and encourage students to give the best of their ability. Implementing a reward system in which students are praised or rewarded for academic excellence and good behavior is a great way to motivate students. Furthermore, developing a trusting relationship with students is crucial because this allows students to see that their teacher cares for them on a personal basis.
Lastly, parents are an important aspect in the classroom community. Parent involvement is essential and teachers should attempt to keep parents involved by sending a weekly newsletter, sending letters home, calling or emailing and explaining what will be expected for the next unit. Overall, I believe these various classroom management strategies are important for the success of a classroom and its students. I personally believe these strategies help establish positive behaviors as well as allowing students to understand the importance of respect, community, motivation, accountability and ownership.