KSA 6 Teachers create and maintain environments that are conducive to student learning.A student can not learn if they do not feel safe. My primary goal before any curriculum is delivered, is to ensure I've created an environment wherein students feel physically, psychologically, socially and culturally secure.
Only IF an environment is safe and caring, can it BE conducive to student learning.
I do this through relationship-building at our Morning Meetings, demonstrating and expecting manners such as please and thank-you's, not raising voices, sharing. I do this through taking time to develop our Classroom Creed (read more about that here) and getting to know my students, their strengths, weaknesses, interests.
I like to ask parents to fill out a quick questionnaire (get it by clicking here) at the beginning of the year to alert me of any family issues that may take up space in my student's brains, as well as give me a quick idea of their personalities and learning styles. This often gives me a head start in knowing how to interact with students, and sometimes gives new information from what the dry, dusty cume files have to share.
I demand respect by showing students what it looks like. I respect them by listening and creating time for them even if it is during recess or lunch breaks. I discuss personal space and care of individual and classroom supplies and follow up when rule are broken. I am firm but loving and students respond well to the boundaries I instill. The first month of school is integral to installing classroom routines and procedures and much time is devoted to practicing these until they become habit.
|Visual reminders student see as soon as they walk through our classroom door. Print your own at http://www.mamamiss.com/2013/09/09/motivational-monday-classroom-signs/|
We answer to a higher power in my classroom and our school. We are blessed to be part of the St. Michael's Catholic community. The students participate in praying for our school over the intercom during morning announcements and they participate in classroom prayers during our Morning Meeting. I have also been known to stop a rather nutty class that seems to be spiraling off-track to just pray. Pray for our minds and attention. Pray for our bodies to be able to focus. Our prayer corner is a reminder that God is with us in our classroom. He cares and wants to see us safe.
As general school practice, we practice fire drills and lock down procedures several times throughout the year. Procedures and posters are clearly marked in my classroom and students feel comfortable with the route and actions they must take in the event of either one of these emergencies.
Read more on Page 9 of this Portfolio: My Classroom is Conducive to Student Learning