How Can We Create an Emotionally Safe Classroom for Our Students?

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Check Out the New Blog HowCanWeCreateanEmotionallySafeClassroomforOurStudentsFor learning to take place, a child needs to feel safe. As teachers, it is our responsibility to provide an environment which does not trigger fear or anxiety, but helps the child feel comfortable and happy.

Create a positive atmosphere: A bright, airy space with lots of natural lighting will lift up moods and create a positive environment. Put up cheerful pictures and inspirational quotes to set the mood. Arrange the classroom to promote interaction and active student participation. A notice board, that displays the students’ creative works, will encourage and inspire them to contribute more to the class. You can also decorate the class according to festivals, seasons and celebrate birthdays to add brightness to your student’s day at school.

Structure your program: Students appreciate following a structured routine in their classroom. On the first day of school, introduce students to the norms and behaviors that are expected to be followed when in class. List out in brief, the various activities students are to participate in and also post up schedules of discussions, assignments and test dates.

Know them: Take the time to know your students. Familiarize yourself with their interests, backgrounds, strengths etc. This will help you connect with them and also in planning out classes, assignments etc. Addressing them by name, initiating eye contact and enquiring about them will instill a personal touch and shows that you care.

Consistently model good behaviors: Be consistent in our attitudes, behavior and actions towards students. Avoid outbursts of anger, harsh disciplinary methods, raised voices and insensitive comments as these will only alienate them. Instead rely on firm instructions and kind gestures and actions to convey messages to the class. Model positive behavior and provide opportunities for students to demonstrate the same.

Be lavish in your praises and reward them for acts of goodness. Appreciate students for their behavior, effort and participation in individual and group activities. Discipline in private, so as not to embarrass the student in front of his peers.

Promote social behaviors: Teach the different social behaviors essential to the class. Encourage students to treat each other with respect and use appropriate communication when in class. Look out for signs of bullying, excessive teasing etc and take necessary action to prevent the same. Also instruct them in skills necessary for conflict resolution. In a class with students from different backgrounds, it is essential that we control and maintain cohesiveness within the class.

Students are motivated to perform well in a class that is perceived as emotionally safe, free from negative emotions and stress.

Discuss here: What are some strategies that you use to make your classroom feel “safe”?

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