Teachers: Create a Positive Classroom
Do students feel welcome in your classroom? Do you greet them when they enter? Teachers who have a positive classroom are more likely to have positive students. Those positive students make it more likely that you will have success as a teacher. Creating a positive classroom takes a few small steps for a large reward. A positive classroom environment enhances your classroom discipline and classroom management.
Teachers Have to Want to be There
Do you love your teaching job? Do you hate showing up at your school
every morning? If this is the case, how effective do you think you can
be as a teacher. Chances are, you will just go through the motions and
then dread the next day. If possible, take only a teaching job that you
know you will like. Unfortunately, some teaching jobs do not pan out as
Sometimes you get stuck. Either way, you have got to want to
be there. You as a teacher are the one responsible for the learning of
your given students. Give them your best each and every day. No matter
how tough the teaching job is, you need to have a positive attitude and WANT to be
teaching in your current position. I suppose it is possible to fake it.
So let's change that. You need to at least appear that you want to be
in your current classroom each and every day. Seriously. If you really
cannot do that, quit and look for another job. Your students only get
Welcome the Students
Before each class or school day, be a teacher that welcomes their
students with a smile, and comments how glad you are to see them.
Never Show Anger
This can be tough. Teachers get upset. The key is to stop, breathe,
think. Then move on as fast as possible. Have faith that students will
know you are upset. Many will appreciate that you did not go off.
Students know when they have crossed the line. Why make it worse? Your
classroom discipline must be mastered. Read the article on classroom
discipline and classroom management. Your students will get the idea
that you are a cool head. If not, they will think you can be baited and
try it frequently. The ones who may empathize with you, will lose faith
in you as a teacher. Don't lose the students you can and have reached.
Treat Every Day as a New Day
Forget about the lousy day teaching you had yesterday. Each day in the
classroom is a new one. Strive to be a little better each day. If
teachers look at each day as perhaps a new beginning, they cannot help
but be positive.
No Question is Dumb
Answer every question with tact. Never make a student look like they
are stupid for asking that. A good technique is to always say, "I'm
glad you asked that. I know others had the same question." Or something
similar. Try and steer the question to make a better point or reiterate
something. Turn each question into something positive. As a teacher,
this may take a little practice.
Don't be a Punisher
What does this mean? Many teachers have a
habit of do this or else. Behave or else. Work or else. Teachers need
to avoid this "or else" mode. Here's a newsflash. Students know what is
expected of them. Assign work like you expect it to be done. If you
expect your students to not work, then not working is what you will
get. They will always go for the "else," or have fun trying. If you
wish to assert that you expect them to work, then just say it without
the "else." In other words, simply say something similar to the
following, "Here's your assignment. You all know what is expected."
(Notice the "else" is not needed?) Teachers will have to come up with
all sorts of "elses." Students need to think class work is something
expected and normal. There is no "else." How are you going to punish
non-work? With more work? It is the crazy teacher who says, "If you
don't do this page I will give you ten more!" Can you see how
ridiculous this sounds?
Call Each Student by Name
Greet as many students as possible as they enter your classroom.
Give Students Choices if Possible
This gives a student the feeling that their input is important. Give
them a list of people, places, or things to write about. Is this
possible in math class as well? Yes! How many times have you heard
something like, do problems 1 to 20, odd only. Why not change this to:
Choose 5 problems from 1 to 10, and 5 problems from 11 to 20. It's
basically the same assignment, but students have a choice. Any teacher
of any subject can modify this.
Homework Should be not be Home Work.
Please read the article on homework.
Positive Feedback at all Times
Use positive statements when commenting on students' work. Note how
well students are working instead of the ones that aren't. Wander
around the classroom so you can give feedback and help to all students.
Was a student absent? Welcome them back when they return.
Make Positive Calls Home
Calling home is a great technique for classroom discipline. But make
the first call positive. Call home to praise before you call to
complain. That is, call every parent (yes every) at least once to
acknowledge you are glad to have their child in your classroom and hope
the year will go well. And yes, call at least one time each semester
for every student when you are pleased with the student's work!
Accept Every Student No Matter What
Students are going to look and dress in a way that pleases them.
Sometimes it will make you cringe. Just remember they are young people
who are learning to live in society. You will be amazed how the
roughest or silliest look is just on the outside. They are still
students. This is one time that you do not want to make remarks either
way. Don't be outwardly pleased with the way a student looks either.
But be glad and show your appreciation that the students are in your
class. Without them, you would have no job!
These are just a few ideas for a
classroom and becoming a positive teacher. Eventually, your classroom will be such a positive place, that you as
well as students will want to be there.
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