The one thing all teachers desire is having a classroom full of students eager to take their class. Every teacher dreams of walking down the street someday years later, and having someone walk up to them and tell them what a great teacher they were and that it was a privilege to have been in their class.
One of the most critical aspects of a positive classroom culture is an ongoing, concerted effort to ensure student participation and success. There exists strong scientific evidence that shows that the sense of connectedness children feel with their school, helps guard against things like violent behaviour and even mental health issues.
10 Ways to Build a Positive Classroom Culture
Here’s how you can best enhance teacher-student relationships and forge a strong classroom culture that will make for a classroom of happy students.
#1. Set high expectations for your students
Setting the bar high is definitely one of the most effective classroom management techniques. When you show your kids that you believe in them, and push them harder to become the best versions of themselves, you might be surprised to find that it actually does the trick succinctly well.
Tip: One effective way to do this is to show your students the kind of behaviour expected from them. Use positive reinforcement to seal the deal.
#2. Imbue learning with a sense of meaning
Oftentimes children find learning boring, because they don’t have a sense of how what they are learning is ever going to help them in their future lives. A robust classroom culture promotes the feeling that what they are learning now, will definitely help them in upcoming years.
Tip: Show them how things they learn in the now can indirectly help them in the future. For instance, Artificial Intelligence buffs might want to give those classes in Computers a greater deal of attention.
#3. Build positive relationships with them
Student engagement is driven to another level when you harbour positive relationships with your students. Having a sense of humor helps. After all, these are children that you will be spending a lot of time with. You want them to love you, rather than have them despising you.
Tip: Listen to them. Getting to know them and them getting to know you, can truly work wonders towards fostering strong teacher-student relationships.
#4. A quote for that dollop of inspiration
A highly positive classroom culture is one where the children feel inspired. When you take a quote from a book or perhaps even a movie, and discuss it with your students, it will instill a strong sense of confidence in them and give them a healthy dose of inspiration to meet the upcoming day.
Tip: You could begin the day by scrawling that quote on the blackboard.
#5. Foster a sense of belonging
How do you get students to consistently want to attend class? By fostering a sense of belonging. A great classroom culture is one in which every child feels valued, accepted and part of the group. A sense of belonging to the class, so to speak.
Tip: One way you could do this is by incorporating team-building exercises that will help promote bonding between students.
#6. Learn together
One of the most effective methods of classroom management is showing the children you teach that you are not a ‘know it all’. Rather, much like them, you find yourself on that learning curve, which really goes on forever. This sense of vulnerability will go a long way in driving student engagement.
Tip: You could ask the kids that you teach to give you an honest critique of an essay you might have written.
#7. Promote a culture based on thinking
A truly stimulating classroom culture is one that allows children the opportunity to think for themselves, rather than merely promoting rote learning. When children are presented with concepts, they need to think ‘outside the box’. This will sharpen their critical thinking skills and perhaps even help them to come up with some pretty interesting observations themselves.
Tip: Get your children to rekindle the fire of questioning they indulged in as children. The more they question the world around them, the more they will learn.
#8. Encourage co-creation
Teacher-student relationships might be important, but so are relationships students forge with one another. They need to learn to create together. This will have them partaking of several enriching experiences like empathizing, leading, negotiating and even trading skills. While these experiences are most important for creating a sound classroom culture, they will most certainly assist them in their future years, too.
Tip: Help your children zone in on what they are best at doing. Promote that talent and show them how combining it with others’ unique skills, can work wonders.
#9. Celebrate successes
Ensure that you celebrate your students’ successes. That sense of pride they feel at hearing your kind words of praise, will go a long way in helping them set their sights on even more achievements. An emphasis on hard work truly works wonders where it comes to driving success.
Tip: You want to celebrate their efforts, not merely their results. That will serve to create an environment in which every student will feel they can do well, if they try.
#10. Set clear expectations
The students in your classroom need to know exactly what is expected of them, and what is not, too. This includes what they can expect from their classmates and their teacher, as well. What this does is remove all that stress that comes from uncertainty.
Tip: It’s a good idea to set in place incentives for good behaviors, and deterrents for negative behaviours.
At EuroKids we place a firm emphasis on the belief that a positive classroom culture creates happy kids. After all, happy kids learn better than children who are not happy. We take great pride in holding ourselves responsible for creating a sound space where children feel most supported, safe and ever willing to share ideas.