Positive Classroom Culture
All teachers and students want a positive classroom, this determines how the whole year will feel in the classroom. These are different ways you can achieve having a positive classroom culture:
Establish rules and expectations together as a class. This will help all students feel invested in the classroom and promote positive behavior.
• Working with students, writing classroom rules together, creates a positive classroom culture which will enhance the classroom, build community and accountability among everyone.
• Having a positive management system in the classroom such as a class dojo, clip charts, treasure boxes, and/or class incentives enhances a positive environment where good behaviors are rewarded throughout the day.
Make sure everyone feels included and respected. Use inclusive language, avoid making assumptions about students' abilities or backgrounds, and give everyone a chance to participate.
• Having classroom time is important for students to share their experiences and feelings in a safe/non-judgmental environment.
• Show your students how to accept others’ opinions even when it’s disagreeable with yours in a respectful manner.
Celebrate diversity and individual strengths. Highlight the unique perspectives and experiences that each student brings to the classroom.
• Letting students speak on their culture, family experiences in the classroom enhances other students’ cultural awareness in understanding one another.
• Celebrating different religions, beliefs, traditions, languages and speaking on ways we can all be sensitive and respectful of the diversity between everyone’s’ different experiences is important and should be taught in the classroom.
Promote a growth mindset. Help students understand that effort and practice lead to learning and growth.
• By learning about other students’ experiences, cultures, beliefs, they learn to be more empathetic and create a sense of community. This is beneficial in understanding different points of views.
• When students learn from one another’s problems and/or situations, they can better relate to their peers and also learn to overcome obstacles in different ways they might not have thought of.
Encourage positive social interactions. Model and encourage kind, helpful, and respectful behavior.
• Modelling good manners during discussions should be required by the teacher for students to learn to emulate positive behaviors.
• Letting them speak on what others might be feeling, giving compliments to one another, and being polite to one another are different ways to enhance classroom culture.
There are many different ways teachers can improve classroom culture. Listening to your students and understanding what might be needed can lead to a great classroom discussion on classroom culture. Be open to have these discussions throughout the year. Be aware that one thing might work in the beginning of the year and might have to change by the middle of the year. Remember creating a positive classroom culture provides a learning-focused environment and promotes good behavior between peers. How do you build a positive environment in your classroom? In addition, there is a very informative article on the importance of cultural diversity in the classroom written by the Drexel University School of Education that can be found at https://drexel.edu/soe/resources/student-teaching/advice/importance-of-cultural-diversity-in-classroom/