Any room can be turned into a classroom when it’s being used as a venue for learning. The parents who have helped their children get through remote learning during COVID-19, with disruption in the US and circuit breakers in Singapore, can attest to this.
Now that the schools in the country are operating normally, academic institutions are again responsible for creating a positive learning environment, whilst also trying to mobilise learners into a post-COVID routine. Every stakeholder can play a role in creating a positive classroom environment where students can advance in their academic pursuits as well as develop into productive individuals and members of society.
What Is a Positive Classroom Environment?
There are many factors that contribute to the creation of a positive classroom environment. There’s the overall mood of the room, the level of comfort and well-being that everyone in the class is able to enjoy, and if the students feel safe to share their thoughts and feelings while in the said space.
These help build a positive classroom environment that encourages students to focus, observe, and participate. If a classroom were chaotic, hostile, apathetic, or totally out of the teacher’s control, then it would not be able to provide a classroom environment that is conducive to learning.
How to Create a Dedicated Space for Learning and Holistic Development
In a way, a school’s facilities contribute to the development of a positive learning space. Top international schools in Singapore, for example, make an effort to incorporate the latest educational amenities in their classrooms. However, it’s still entirely possible to achieve a positive learning climate even with more traditional teaching tools. Here’s how to do it:
Ensure Students Know What Is Expected of Them by Reinforcing Classroom Rules
The first step in creating an environment that is conducive to growth and learning is laying the groundwork for how students are expected to conduct themselves while in the classroom. What qualities should they strive to showcase when communicating with their teachers and classmates, and how should they expect to be treated by the people that they interact?
Firmly implementing rules from the get-go will help educators and students create a safe, predictable, and positive environment. Being aware of the rules and how discipline is conducted in the classroom will help students self-regulate and choose the best course of action while they’re part of the group. This, in turn, will give them the freedom to focus on their lessons in the classroom.
Promote Interaction and Encourage Students to Get to Know Their Peers Better
Part of building a positive classroom climate is ensuring that the members of the class are getting along well. The students don’t exactly have to be close friends, but they need to be able to work well and exchange ideas and opinions with each other.
Teachers can encourage more active interaction between students by making a daily habit of noticing and reinforcing positive interactions between students and incorporating short- and long-term activities that promote teamwork and communication in their lessons. It’s also a good idea to give a bit of help to students who may be struggling to approach others or make friends with their peers.
Pay Attention to the Physical State of the Classroom Environment
Safety and comfort are important aspects of a positive classroom environment. If a classroom is too hot, cold, humid, crowded, or noisy, then the students will have a hard time focusing on their lessons and understanding the ideas that their teachers are introducing.
Academic institutions in Singapore follow a particular set of standards for their buildings and facilities, and following this should help schools create a better learning environment for their students. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to a classroom’s aesthetics and ergonomics, ensuring that the lighting, furnishings, and interior design all work together to create a welcoming atmosphere for students and teachers alike.
Be Receptive to Feedback and Suggestions on How to Improve the Class
Teachers play a very important role in setting up the atmosphere in a classroom. They have primary responsibility in ensuring that all rules and guidelines are followed, and as such, their opinions and feedback matter to students, parents, and the school community as a whole. Just like their students, though, teachers will always have room for improvement.
Perhaps their students are concerned about the speed with which they discuss topics in the classroom, or they might have trouble following the submission schedule for their assignments and projects. Listening to students and giving thought to their concerns can help teachers build an environment where their students will not hesitate to ask questions. At the same time, addressing the practical concerns of their students will also help teachers improve their professional skills and the way they conduct their classes.
A positive classroom environment is a product of consolidated effort between teachers, students, and school administrators. Even parents play an important role in setting an environment that’s conducive to learning, as they help ensure that their kids are ready for school. Make sure all these preparations are put to good use by discussing the students’ lessons in an environment where they can focus and think about their lessons and co-curricular concerns. Follow the abovementioned tips to create a classroom experience where both kids and teachers can develop their skills and learn together.
Featured image: gorodenkoff, iStock.