There is little doubt nowadays about the clear and direct connection amongst the kind of learning environment the teacher designs and student achievement. In fact, positive, productive teaching-learning scenarios are key to student´s academic success. The bad news is that these learning conditions do not occur on their own; but rather, they must be imagined, designed and eventually created by the teacher.
Some strategies that can be implemented on a daily basis to construct such a positive classroom climate are very simple, and just require some management hints:
Catering for students´ needs is undoubtedly a promising approach; however, obvious as it may seem, it requires deep knowledge of the group and the individuals. Similarly, some reflection on those needs may shed words like love and belonging, security and order, personal competence, freedom, novelty and fun (Erwin, 2016).
Greeting children at the door every morning can be a fun and creative routine which contributes to “shorten the distance” between the teacher and learners; it is kind of a daily knowing wink for every child. Moreover, the activity may evolve to some children as “greeters” of the day.
The use of class-building games arouses plenty of opportunities for classmates to strengthen their bonds and provoke joyful situations where they use the foreign language in a “hidden way”. As all teachers know, bringing cooperative games to the ESL classroom tends to create a sense of belonging to the group, and also a sense of “positive community”. A prime example of cooperative playful task may be turning the classroom into an “escape room”, in which children in teams must solve challenges to unlock boxes and get answers.
Focusing on the positive side of outcomes, productions and students themselves is an indispensable teacher´s strategy to arouse self-confidence and willingness to be active part of the cooperative group. In this sense, arousing a sense of teambuiding, classbuilding and practical social skills in cooperative tasks are the cornerstones to create a caring cooperative group of learners.
“THE SCHOOL CLIMATE SOLUTION. Creating a culture of excellence from the classroom to the staffroom. Erwin, J. C. Free Spirit Publishing. 2016
Video by: Edutopia.