As mentioned previously the good rapport between students and teachers is crucial but the rapport between students also has its importance to build a positive learning environment. Therefore it is important to jot down the basics for common ground rules right from the beginning. You need to establish yourself as the one who will be in charge but you also need to find a balance between imposing rules and having a wild classroom. One suggestion is to engage your students in the process. Your students will be more likely to follow the rules if they are fair and commonly agreed by their peers. Creating a classroom rules board has often proved to be quite efficient to prevent disruption.

From day one you need to stress the importance of the notion of respect in the classroom. Respect is the key to establish a good learning community and it is a two way process; you will respect your students, they will respect you and they will learn to respect each other. Respect will come through the use polite language, good behavior and learning attitude.

That can be a long process and you may have to remind your students of the necessity of respect during the year but the earlier you model what you are expecting from your students the easier it will be to create a learning community that thrive. You will soon find out that developing a respectful environment means developing an environment based on trust. If your students feel that you will be there for them and that you genuinely care about their achievements then you have done 99% of the work. The attitude you will model from an early point will help you to train your students to be hard-working and dedicated students ready to work for you but also for themselves.

SafeSchools

Creating a safe learning environment for each and every individual to thrive is not just based on having strict established rules. Creating an efficient teaching-learning classroom also means building a friendly learning place where teamwork can be enhanced. You need to make your room a place where students want to come in and join. You may decide for that purpose to change the traditional shape of the room. Instead of having rows

Creating an efficient teaching-learning classroom also means building a friendly learning place where teamwork can be enhanced.

of students why not try a U-shape, circle or group formation? This type of organization will allow you to develop more communication and collaborative work within your learning community. It’s also an excellent way to develop some competition spirit between teams that should allow your students to give their best. Varying the group formations is also a great way to mix up your students so that they develop new relationships. When you pair-up students with new partners they are not used to work with they generally start understanding their peers better which contributes to the improvement of the class rapport.

Being truly attentive to your students’ work and success is key to develop your ideal teaching-learning community. Try to display your students’ work as much as you can in the classroom. Celebrate their efforts on every opportunity. Verbally praise their work in front of their peers to stimulate the whole group. Encourage every little step, acknowledge their progress even if they are not reaching fully their target, use humor to convey a light atmosphere, value your students’ strength. All these tips should help you build the learning community you dream of.

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