Starting the school year as you mean to go on is an essential method of keeping a consistent and effective environment for your students. TeacherBoards Community has created a blog post to help teachers ensure they are able to create a positive learning space in a secondary school environment from the get go.
Do’s and Don’ts
Creating a positive learning environment is an important aspect that you should provide to your students. You can achieve this by setting a number of rules and guidelines to follow. This task is more effective when put into action as soon as possible as a major change causes inconsistency and possible consequences. When setting the classroom guidelines it is vital to explain why they are a necessity in the classroom to help students understand the importance of following them. It is also a good idea to avoid a long stream of ‘don’ts’, as children are more likely to rebel.
Gaining their Respect
The relationship between teacher and student is important, especially within secondary school education as older students become resentful to rules and easily bored of learning. It is common for the notion of learning to become a negative factor for teenage students so it is important to remind them why they come to school and how education can affect them all positively. Creating a strong bond with your pupils can help them want to learn more and find your lessons intriguing, earning their respect can provide this. The traditional ‘firm but fair’ rule is an effective method, but only if you stick to it. Asserting your teacher dominance can be difficult, what you might see as enthusiastic can come across as condescending to your students. It may be a good idea to remind oneself of the phrase ‘Children are just little adults’ as a way of understanding the needs and requirements of young adults and teenage students. Considering this quote to be true, it suggests that you need to respect them for them to return the favour.
Different Learning Styles
Bad behaviour might also stem from classroom confusion. If a student does not understand what you are attempting to teach them, they may become disruptive and unfocused to the task ahead. It is important to understand different learning styles to stop this from happening. Get to know your students and ask them how they work best, some may work better in groups and others may need complete silence to concentrate. Although it may be difficult to cater for every different style, it is still essential that you are able to understand why a class may become unsettled so you are able to handle it as best you can. It is also a good idea to get practical with your work and get your class to socialise to you and the other students. Students become less eager to learn when they are constantly sat copying from the board sat silence for every lesson. This classroom boredom can also lead to resentment, which causes students to rebel against classroom rules.
Stopping Disruptive Behaviour
It is important to eradicate inappropriate behaviour as quickly as possible, but this does not necessarily mean you should put a student down in front of everybody; this may go one of two ways. Firstly, a disruptive student may be acting up as a way of seeking attention, by yelling at them in front of the whole class might be seen as a comical act for that student and the rest of the class. This may also lead to other students following this bad behaviour as they now find it humorous. Alternatively, a student might feel embarrassed getting told off in front of their peers, this may cause them to dislike you and you could lose their respect. Giving a warning is a different matter; this highlights what you find to be a problem and why you need it to stop. If a student is being inappropriate it may be better to discuss the matter outside the classroom or after lesson.
A reward system in the classroom is a constructive method of making students aware that their good behaviour will not go unnoticed. By only focusing on disruptive students and dishing out consequences, students become unaware of what might happen if they altered their behaviour and acted in accordance to the school guidelines. It might be an idea to create a positive behaviour board that could urge children on and encourage them to act sensibly in lessons. TeacherBoards sells a wide range of different noticeboards, and adding a splash of colour would animate your classroom and create a brighter learning zone.