What do you do when you have 27 plus students in a classroom with different achievement and socioeconomic levels, with various disabilities and personalities, with discipline problems, and with diverse ethnic backgrounds? You must create a classroom culture where students respect themselves, you, and others. Because of the diversity, it’s important that students work together as a team so you can effectively teach.
One way to accomplish this is by creating a dynamic classroom culture using five essential elements that, if consistently implemented, will help you manage your class so you can teach and students can learn.
1. Intentional Instruction
Intentional instruction provides students with assignments that are tailor made to their academic strengths and weaknesses. It increases student independence by providing extra practice in areas of weakness and/or extends student learning. This can either be a folder student’s keep at their desk in which you place worksheets that target specific skills or it could be scheduled computer time using educational sites that target specific skills.
Having assignments readily available is valuable to creating a peaceful, harmonious classroom where all students are engaged—and engaged students decrease behavior problems.
3. The Power of Relationships
During the first six weeks of school, building rapport with students will develop into relationships of mutual respect. This begins before students enter the classroom by greeting each student individually using their name. After students have gone to their lockers, have them line up without talking. Remember, specificity is the key. Asking students to line up quietly is different from lining up without talking. The student should greet you by name and you do the same. This is also a good way to learn all students’ names.
As the school year progresses and you learn more about the students and their families, ask them how their parents are doing or how their siblings are doing. Sometimes just asking them if they had a good morning, or saying it’s good to see you today will let students know that you care.