As we learn more about improving our classrooms, one thing becomes clear: a positive environment is the key to high-quality education. However, maintaining such an environment can be challenging for busy and often underfunded educators.
Fortunately, you don’t have to empty your wallet or drain your spare time improving your classroom environment. With just a few tweaks to your setup and routine, you can make a huge difference in your students’ lives.
Invest in uplifting classroom decorations
The first step toward improving your classroom environment is to focus on the room itself.
Some colorful, uplifting decorations from an environmentally-friendly retailer such as Sproutbrite can make a more significant impact than you’d expect. For instance, a cheery inspirational poster on the wall can help keep your students’ spirits high throughout the day.
Additionally, something like a colorful alphabet poster or math table can be a fun way to help children retain essential information.
Take an interest in your students’ interests
Try to find out what your students enjoy outside of school. Depending on the age group, you can ask students about their hobbies, favorite T.V. shows, favorite animals, or music preferences.
Once you know what’s popular among your students, you can incorporate it into the classroom. For instance, if you have students who love animals, you could organize an animal book report project. This integration can be a great way to make learning more exciting, especially for younger kids.
Allow your students to apply teamwork
While many students roll their eyes at the idea of group projects, they can be a great way to build stronger relationships in your classroom.
As children step out of their comfort zones and get to know their classmates better, creating a positive classroom environment will become easier.
Celebrate their achievements
When your students make an achievement, no matter how small, it’s always worthy of praise. While many teachers feel that students shouldn’t receive credit for doing the bare minimum, this mentality can often be discouraging.
So next time a kid does something good, whether it’s a forgetful student turning in their homework on time or a child going above and beyond, be sure to acknowledge their hard work. A thumbs up or a sticker on an assignment can go a long way.
Even the most experienced teachers need feedback from time to time. If your student comes to you with a concern, take them seriously. Even if you disagree, hearing students out will tell them you value their input.
When you accept feedback and take it to heart, you’ll let your students know that they can be honest and put their trust in you.
A warm, inviting smile can make a huge difference in your classroom’s environment. Consider greeting your students at the classroom door with a smile to start their day off on a good note.
The best part is, smiles are often contagious. So when you’re cheerful with your students, you can expect at least some of them to follow suit.
Recognize the individual needs of your students
Every student has different needs. What’s a piece of cake for one student may feel like climbing a mountain to another.
So if your student tells you something is difficult, take them seriously–and do your best to help them succeed. When you recognize the individual needs of your students, you’ll create a more welcoming environment and let them know that their education matters to you.
As you work toward creating a more positive environment for your students, you may begin to notice some positive changes along the way.
Welcoming classroom environments can improve the performance of your students. More importantly, inviting classrooms give children a place to feel safe while they learn.