New Teacher Strategies and Tips to Improve a Classroom Climate

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The need for acceptance and respect is overlooked in many classrooms. It is sometimes difficult to accept the behavior of a given student, but the teacher should never communicate a lack of acceptance of the learner as an individual.

In fact, lack of respect by the teacher is often cited by learners as a reason for misbehavior. (Savage, 47) The best way to improve any classroom climate is to relate to students with dignity and maturity – that is, treat students with acceptance. Here are some ways to demonstrate acceptance in a classroom:

1. Make any statement that tells the student that s / he is a worthy person.
2. Being available, helpful, supportive and caring.
3. Asking the student for help.
4. Demonstrating understanding, caring and liking.
5. Taking the student seriously.
6. Sharing with the student.
7. Being fair, considerate and respectful.
8. Accepting students' feelings.
9. Create opportunities for personal contact with students.
10. Model the desired behavior.

For today, take a look at the things you did and said in a particularly difficult lesson you recently experienced. Did you come across as one who is accepting of your students? Try and separate the student's misbehavior from the person. Maybe you need to have a tutorial with this problematic student to settle some of the difference. But avoid any confrontations during in-class instruction – that will just negatively affect your classroom climate.

To deflect some of the tension that goes along with the problematic behavior of negative students, you might consider employing some of these techniques to help you create a more positive environment.

1. Allow students to participate in the rule setting. (You may wish to do this later if you feel you are too new to a class)
2. Allow the students to plan and set goals for learning.
3. Allow the students to use self-evaluation procedures.
4. Allow students to give input about assignments. (You could do this as an in-class writing assignment)
5. Allow students to select the books they want to read.
6. Allow students input into daily schedule. (You could do this as an in-class writing assignment)

Try it!



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