Most students are under a lot of stress and this can cause physical tension in the classroom that can have a negative impact on their health, performance, and academics.
For my classroom to be welcoming, I double-check my classroom management strategies and enhance my teaching styles from time to time so my students feel that they belong. And more so, to reduce stress and make my students feel comfortable.
In this article, I’ll be sharing helpful tips on how do I reduce physical tension in the classroom so my students are always at their best to learn.
As an educator, I am practically aware that the classroom climate has a direct impact on student learning. Hence, I am doing my best to create a secure and nurturing learning environment to make students feel comfortable at all times. I know that other teachers are also working hard to keep the classroom safe.
In my previous posts, as a review, I mentioned surefire tips on how to make the learning environment safe to promote student learning and help students become productive. Now, let’s delve into another aspect of classroom management in order to give our students enhanced learning experiences and to maintain a positive learning environment.
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How Do I Reduce Physical Tension in the Classroom?
Consider these 10 helpful tips to make children’s classroom life desirable and manageable.
1. I involve my students in setting academic and behavioral expectations.
How should your classroom run for the school year? Have you made a plan? How do you figure out giving your students a stress-free learning environment? These questions encapsulate the importance of developing classroom expectations.
If you have tried this strategy, I know that it helped your students feel less anxious in the classroom by knowing exactly how they should treat you as their teacher and how they should deal with their classmates. When we involve our students in setting clear and consistent academic and behavioral expectations, they feel that they are important and that their ideas and brilliant concepts are appreciated.
To establish a safe classroom, expectations should be clearly understood and should be developed with students so they are given the opportunity to own their learning experiences. Expectations express the standards of behavior that students observe in order to maintain a safe and accommodating learning place.
More so, when expectations are communicated effectively, students will do their best to achieve their academic goals and attain behavioral success.
2. I interact with my students.
Developing positive interactions with your students can greatly boost their confidence and open communication. By keeping communication open, your students know that you care for them and it reduces anxiety and feelings of uncertainty.
As teachers, although we are very busy with our different teaching loads, we should not forget to take time to listen to our students’ stories. It’s a way of getting to know them deeply.
The more we know our students the more sensitive we are with their feelings. Remember, they come from different backgrounds which ought to be respected.
If the teacher fails to reach out, just imagine how the student feels. It adds to his burden; it increases his anxiety. Hence, we have to develop teacher-student interactions to reduce physical tension in the classroom.
As advocated by the Center of Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning at the University of Virginia through the organization of CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System), the quality of teacher and student interaction has to be improved as it has direct correlations to student achievement, social development, and student learning as a whole.
The positive atmosphere in the classroom makes children feel your unconditional support thereby making them excited about learning and enjoy every moment in the classroom.
3. I emphasize respect for one another.
One way of stabilizing our being responsive to our students’ needs is by emphasizing how students should treat one another. They should know exactly what to do when they are in a queue or how they wait for their turn during the sharing of ideas. Essentially, respect is needed when building a community in the school. A strong relationship won’t prosper if respect isn’t observed.
Respect is a fundamental quality that provides a strong foundation for relationships. It might have been taught at home but it should also be emphasized in the classroom where students are to foster a strong connection with one another in order to thrive in the learning environment.
Teaching students about respect enables them to get united and collaborate even surrounded by differences. Therefore, as teachers, we should amplify the value of respect by teaching students how to gain, share, and exchange it. In a way, it shouldn’t become a lost value after all.
4. I allow my students to express their thoughts and ideas.
Our students shouldn’t struggle when they want their ideas to be heard or when they want to share their views. For as long as they do it with respect and in a way that won’t hurt others’ feelings, as teachers, we should allow them to do so. We should give them enriching opportunities to share their pieces, too. If you suppress their rights of expression you are denying them a lot of opportunities for learning.
If, for instance, they find difficulty learning a certain concept and your classroom opens a way for students to express how they feel, it’s easy for you to address and accommodate their needs. On the other hand, if your classroom prohibits your students from asking for clarifications, your students get frustrated and feel bad about learning as a whole.
Creating a balance in the classroom environment makes students understand others’ perspectives. Instructional opportunities that require sharing of ideas and collaboration offer productive outcomes to students as they learn to appreciate their differences. This lessens conflicts and physical tension in the classroom.
5. I make learning fun and interactive.
How do you engage your students to become lifelong learners? Do you make them enjoy every learning opportunity in school?
Well, for this matter, we all know that students love to be in a fun and accommodating classroom. Interestingly, using humor in our instructional delivery will create a stress-free environment. Hence, using humor is a good practice.
Aside from using humor in your instruction, you can also make learning fun by initiating cooperative learning strategies that provide students with great ownership of their learning. Moreover, when students work together, they deepen their connections and boost their confidence.
Most importantly, they develop their critical thinking skills as they unravel their abilities during hands-on activities.
When you make learning fun and interactive, students have pleasant learning experiences. And because the classroom environment makes it easier for students to get along with one another, they achieve their learning goals and become successful.
6. I reinvent my teaching style.
Like most teachers, I also take time to enhance my teaching styles in order to accommodate the needs of my students. I know that there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy so I collaborate with fellow teachers and learn from their best practices.
Why am I doing this? It’s because I want to give my students enriching learning experiences so they will learn life skills that prepare them for life. Moreover, I am enhancing my teaching pedagogies to wholeheartedly assist my students to become independent learners and to reduce the tension in the classroom.
Being sensitive to the needs of our students can help us reinvent our teaching styles and make the classroom a productive and positive learning environment. If it means integrating technology into my instructional delivery, then I will take time to attend training and seminars for that matter.
7. I reflect on my practices.
I am a discerning teacher. In principle, it really matters if you perceive what went wrong and what went right in your classroom. If it requires honestly answering the question: “How are your classroom management strategies?”, then present your answer and figure out if it has been going well so far.
With reflective practice, you can firmly decide what factors need to be further enhanced to maintain a safe and productive learning environment. Reflection is a fundamental aspect of teaching and learning. At times, we really need self-assessment so we can determine the impact we have had on student learning.
Ultimately, by reflecting on your practices and actions, you can consider other ways of making your students enjoy learning and adopt important life skills. As shared by Cambridge Assessment International Education, “reflecting on your teaching will help you understand how your students best learn and allow you to be accountable for their progress.”
8. I encourage positive thinking in the classroom.
To amplify proper mindset growth in the classroom, I design my bulletin boards with quotes and sayings so my students can read them from time to time.
Being creative in designing our walls and bulletins can help students get reminded of how to become optimistic despite life’s challenges. Moreover, this act should also be very evident in our words and actions.
Let your students hear your positive thoughts by sharing good stories of life. It can be a complex process but there’s a jewel in every diligent step we take.
Our students might draw strength from our affirmations and encouraging words so they likewise develop the habit of positive thinking in themselves.
9. I promote creativity in the classroom.
I magnify creativity in the learning space by designing activities that help students develop their potentials.
Fashioning learning tasks that allow students to work hands-on can make them grow and enjoy learning; thus, physical tension is avoided.
Then, allow for mobility but they should be supervised especially if you’re dealing with children. Sitting still is not an option because it will make students get bored to death.
10. I provide immediate, healthy feedback.
As educators, we must not only be aware of how our actions and expectations affect our students, but we must also endeavor to mitigate the effects of stresses that may obstruct classroom achievement.
One way to do this is to provide immediate, healthy feedback so students will know exactly where they are heading and achieve the road of balance in the classroom. In this way, they won’t get frustrated with their imperfections but will strive to become better instead.
Stress and anxiety occur everywhere and the classroom is not exempt. Students can’t just perform at their best in stressful surroundings. Thus, every classroom should be a stress-free learning environment so students will be at their best. As teachers, it’s our responsibility to give our students a safe and nurturing classroom.
Therefore, it’s really important for teachers to understand students and be sensitive to how they feel because they come from different backgrounds and each has a unique package of abilities and personalities.
We should revisit our classroom management strategies and make sure that students are supported in every way. They should be given the emotional support they need so they can learn effectively. The classroom is made interesting if there’s no tension in it and if the occupants have built a meaningful connection for one another.
I hope that you gained insights from the above-mentioned teacher tips on how to reduce physical tension in the classroom. However, if we’ve missed some useful tips in maintaining a positive and stress-free learning environment, leave them in the comment box below.