What Are the Key Features of a Positive Classroom Environment?
- Come across as warm, friendly and caring toward your students. Children who feel their teachers care about them emotionally as well as academically have more positive learning experiences. These students participate more in class and are able to ask for help when needed. Set appropriate limits with your students right from the start. Avoid criticism and punishment. Separate the behavior from the student. This allows you to preserve the relationship with your student while helping him change an undesirable behavior that may impede his learning. Your students will see you as approachable and compassionate.
- Show interest in the subject matter you are teaching no matter how boring it may be. Teach it from several different angles so you reach all students. Include hands-on activities as time allows and avoid imparting negative thoughts to your students such as "This is too hard" or "We don't really need to know this." Show your enthusiasm and love of learning to your students. Let them know you as a person who cares about and for them and what they learn. Teach your students about life by incorporating the subject matter into their lives in the classroom and at home. For example, a health lesson on diet and nutrition might be taught through planning a meal, reading labels followed by cooking and eating the meal as a class.
- Pay close attention to how your students are doing. Know each student's strengths and weaknesses and have an idea of where you would like that student to be at the end of the school year. Communicate to your students through words, body language and challenging work that they must always give it their all and try their best. Push students slightly past what they are capable of achieving in the moment to increase learning and open their minds to new knowledge.
- Keep a positive attitude toward learning at all times. Let students know where you want them to go rather than reminding what they didn't achieve. Positive teachers instill positive thoughts in their students that they will carry with them long after they have left the classroom. Encourage pride in both the content and the presentation of their work. Encourage deep and critical thinking by asking students how something occurred and giving them enough time to ponder and answer.