Three big takeaways from the Fireside Chat: Starting the Year Right
1. The physical environment of the classroom is also a teacher
The classroom walls play an important role in creating the right environment for the students. The teacher should spend some time putting up not only posters with the classroom rules, expectations and procedures, but also posters/images which convey her beliefs and priorities in teaching and learning. For example if reading story books is something that the teacher considers important, that should be evident on the walls.
2. Are you asking questions and creating a Thinking Classroom?
To create an environment where students are encouraged to think deeply and independently, the classroom culture has to be carefully and deliberately developed by the teacher. Classroom activities like Take -A Stand, asking open- ended questions, initiating discussions, not providing answers to every question and instead encouraging students to find out on their own, are some of the ways this culture can be developed.
3. It all starts with relationships and connections
Building a strong relationship with all students is the foundation for any learning to happen. Some of the ways in which the teacher can lead positively in the classroom are: being empathetic, encouraging collaboration, praising publicly and criticizing privately and last but not the least, by empowering students to make decisions about learning themselves.