When it comes to teaching and working with kids, there are certain key factors that need to come into play for them to do well because a student’s success in school highly depends on the type of environment they learn in.
Creating and maintaining a positive classroom environment will help students boost their self-esteem, boost their motivation to learn, improve their learning skills, and also encourage active participation in class; it’s the cornerstone of positive psychology in education.
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With that being said, it’s obvious that it’s important for teachers to ensure that these 6 qualities of a positive learning environment should be present in their classrooms to help their pupils learn in the most optimal way possible.
6 Qualities of a Positive Learning Environment
1.) There’s a climate of support
Creating a climate of support is important to ensure that your classroom has a positive atmosphere. We all know how it’s hard to learn when you’re anxious, nervous, uncomfortable, or even scared.
That’s why teachers need to create an environment where students can freely come to them for help or guidance without any hesitation or any feeling of embarrassment—with that kind of environment you are sure to create an academic paradise for your students.
Strong teacher-student relationships are also vital to make sure that they do well in school or take on challenges that would otherwise seem overwhelming for them.
Having a deep-rooted relationship with your students will give them a sense of safety if they know that their teacher cares about them outside of class or has also been through the same experiences like theirs.
2.) Cultural awareness is promoted
You know that a classroom has a positive learning environment if cultural awareness is being promoted.
Being culturally aware means that you understand and acknowledge the influences of culture in your life and other people’s lives as well. Without cultural awareness, we might think that everyone thinks and behaves the same as us. However, this is certainly untrue. And that’s not a message you want to pass down to students.
We have to let students understand that others may have different beliefs and experiences than ours and that they may also react differently in a certain situation than we would expect them to.
Teachers should be educated on the importance of cultural sensitivity, but more importantly, teachers should not just acknowledge the difference in their students’ backgrounds but also embrace them as well.
If cultural awareness is promoted in the classroom teachers are then creating an equal learning environment for all students. As a teacher, you must also be aware of your biases and stereotypes so that you will not perpetuate them through your teaching practices and interactions with your students.
You should also strive to avoid reinforcing prejudice or assuming that any type of certain characteristic is universal across all cultures. A teacher in a positive learning environment should also avoid assuming that all people from one culture share the values and beliefs simply because they come from the same geographic area or speak the same language.
3.) Risk-taking is encouraged
Taking risks is an important part of learning, building confidence, and personal development as well. If students feel safe taking risks and making mistakes in the classroom, then they will be able to develop grit and cultivate a growth mindset.
And as their teacher, it’s your job to positively encourage them and push them to do so, the possibility of them going outside of their comfort zone and expanding it will become higher by doing so.
To illustrate, let’s say that you’re teaching an English class and you’re letting students practice writing freely about whatever inspires them (no matter how silly), this could potentially lead them down a surprising path that will lead them to discover what they love doing most—whether it’s writing or not!
Helping them tread unknown waters will lead them to find things that they’re most passionate about which will then lead them to be more motivated and determined students.
4.) All Student needs are met
In a positive learning environment, no students are left behind. A teacher must realize that all learners have different learning needs, abilities, and styles as well.
In the classroom, some students are visual learners while others prefer to learn by reading or hearing. Some can get by fine on their own while others might need frequent one-on-one guidance from their teacher to make sure they’re catching up every now and then.
It’s important for teachers to be aware of these differences so that they can tailor their approach to make sure that no one is left behind and that each student has a fair chance to achieve his or her best level of ability in the classroom.
If a teacher fails to understand the learning style of each of his or her students, then it will be impossible for him or her to meet the needs of all students in the classroom.
5.) The teacher is an exemplar of appropriate behavior
All teachers want their students to be kind and respectful, but if they want them to act like so, they need to model it themselves.
If you want them to feel confident in themselves as learners, then you also need to model that confidence as well.
If you want your classroom to be a safe space where everyone can grow and learn together, then don’t make it about how much more experience or knowledge it is you have than them, rather take their ideas seriously and give them credit for what they know or trying to share.
If you want your classroom to be a positive place for your students to thrive, you must model positive behavior yourself by first understanding how your actions can affect those around you, especially with a ton of little kids looking up to you.
6.) Students are encouraged to reflect and self-assess
Self-reflection and self-assessment are crucial for students to make the most out of their learning in school.
Teachers should encourage both acts of analyzing and evaluating one’s self in order for students to have the chance to reflect on what they learned, and their own progress and realize areas that they need to work on.
You can ask your students to reflect on their own progress using unique questions such as “Hye, I notice you were having a hard time earlier, is there anything I can help you with?” or “Where do you think you did well in the lesson earlier?”.
This gives them an opportunity to further think about what they learned, and how they can improve, and also help them develop a positive attitude toward learning.
I hope this article has shed some light on how a positive learning environment affects students’ learning and how it can greatly benefit them and teachers as well.
It’s also important for teachers to remember that they play a crucial role in creating a positive learning environment that will help students thrive and be able to learn while having fun and enjoying the learning experience itself because that’s the essence of learning.
And if you’ve read this far, you’re probably looking to create a more positive learning environment in your classroom yourself. If so, it’ll be wonderful to hear from you! So sound off below!
Until our next one!