The classroom environment you create plays a large part in student success. It also dictates how stressful your teaching career will be.
I have been advocating for a more positive approach toward classroom management for quite awhile. What led me in this direction was that when I returned to the classroom after 24 years in counseling and administration, I realized that I was coming to school every day wearing a blue uniform and copper buttons. I had become a cop, which is not the reason I had returned to the classroom. Reflecting on how negative I was becoming, I searched for a new approach to create a positive classroom environment.
A Better Approach to the Classroom Environment
I knew there had to be a better, more positive approach to discipline and classroom management. Brain science backs me up. We now know how the brain operates as it relates to emotions. First comes the cognition (input from our senses), which is then immediately associated with an emotion. For example, receive a compliment and you feel good. Be criticized and you feel bad. People do NOT do good when they feel bad. They do what you would like them to do when you communicate in positive terms. It is really quite simple: Let people know what you WOULD LIKE them to do, not want you do NOT want them to do.
I’d like to offer the following key guidelines that a teacher could keep in mind, or on a small index card, to help remind him/her to create a positive classroom environment. Ask yourself:
- “Will the person hearing your communication interpret what you say in positive terms?”
- “Will the person feel as if I am using coercion in any way?”
- “What can I ASK so that the person will feel that I am giving a CHOICE and that I am prompting the person to REFLECT?
When you keep your classroom environment positive, you’ll be less stressed and your students will learn more.
What are your thoughts on creating a positive classroom environment? Please share your thoughts on the Without Stress Facebook page.