Establishing a strong classroom culture is essential because it’s sort of like the bed that you plant the flowers in. You have to have that in order for things to flourish and grow. Students have to feel safe in your classroom. You have to normalize air. They have to know that it’s okay to try and try and try again, that you will actually learn more if you fail often.
I have a really serious conversation with my students at the beginning of the year about their ownership in our classroom culture, and how each of them is responsible for maintaining our learning environment.
I believe in myself and my ability to do my best.
We’ve written a classroom pledge together establishing our hopes and dreams and goals for the year that we then use as a measure for our behavior throughout the rest of the year. If someone’s offending or interrupting or not staying on task, we will actually stop and have a conversation as a class, is this something that’s gonna help us achieve our hopes and dreams or is this something against.
The students are able to make that judgment and respond to each other. Hearing it from your peer that you’re interrupting my learning is often times more effective than me redirecting. Taking the time to really have students buy into the idea that we’re on a journey, and if we’re all doing the things we’re supposed to do we’re going to get where we need to go.
I am too focused on my hopes and dreams to waste today. I am college bound.