The stronger our classroom community, the more likely our students are to succeed. But how exactly do we create that thriving learning environment? Join us as we discuss 4 strategies to develop a strong classroom community:
As teachers, we want to create a vibrant classroom community that engages our students, makes them excited to learn, and helps them feel safe and loved.
There are *so many* facets involved - so many strategies we can employ. We go into more of them in our free Respectful, Responsible & Engaged training as well as our full Beyond Classroom Management course. But for today, let’s discuss four simple strategies that will help you create a stronger classroom community.
create a strong classroom community
1. Earn respect with consistent classroom management.
Too often teachers throw themselves into creating a positive culture while ignoring the need for strong classroom management. But that's like trying to build a house with a foundation.
In order to have a thriving classroom community, your students need to respect you. And that won’t happen if your classroom is out of control.
It’s critical that we have high expectations and hold our students to them. That we consistently deal with problems that occur. That we kindly insist students follow procedures, and that we only set limits we can actually enforce.
If you’re struggling to keep order, please join us in our upcoming Back-to-School Classroom Management Solutions training. It’s completely free & you’ll walk away with definite strategies to start the school year right & keep control all year long.
It’s totally worth the effort - because when you have a controlled classroom and earn your students’ respect, you’re perfectly poised to create an amazing classroom community with your students.
2. Employ the 2 x 10 strategy.
This amazingly simple strategy works wonders - particularly with challenging students. Here’s how it works: Commit to talk to that challenging student for two minutes a day for ten days - about anything they want!
This simple effort will help forge a relationship, and you might just be amazed at the turnaround!
Oh, and if even two minutes seems too overwhelming, pair it down to a simple one-liner - pointing out something you noticed. “I noticed you like hockey.”
The point is that you’re showing them that you see them as more than just a troublesome student - that you care about them and are glad they’re in your class.
3. Always show empathy.
Normally when it comes time to give consequences, we’re frustrated - and that frustration too often shows through. What happens then is the students gets upset at us rather than learning from their mistakes.
The answer? Show genuine empathy - all the time, but especially when enforcing limits.
It can be as simple, “Oh, this is so sad, but…..” or leading with “Ohhhh….” (said with an empathetic nod).
Empathizing with the student shows that you’re on the same team and want to work with them to help them succeed.
4. Incorporate “morning” meetings
Regular class meetings (whether in the morning for elementary or periodically in secondary) are a great way to build your classroom community. In them, students practice communication, social, emotional, and academic skills.
In a typical “morning” meeting, students greet each other, share and get to know each other, play team-building games, and practice academic skills.
Yes, it takes time, but it’s an intentional investment into your classroom community. And when students are comfortable with each other, care about each other, and are invested in the success of the class as a whole, that pays off in huge dividends the rest of the day!
We teach how to start morning meetings in both elementary & secondary in our Beyond Classroom Management Course. You might also want to check out The Morning Meeting Book.
These are just a few strategies to help build your classroom community, but we’ll be sharing so many more in our upcoming free training: Respectful, Responsible, & Engaged.
You’ll learn how to make your lessons more engaging, guide students to solve their own problems, help students set and reach goals, and so much more!
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