Schools that provide a positive learning environment for the students, enable the overall development of students, whether its academics, psychological or social. Such schools foster honesty, safety and respect, which in turn form the fundamentals of a good society and nation. Students are more likely to learn in a positive learning environment – a learning space in which they feel valued and respected.
The psychology of learning says a student’s behavior is greatly influenced by his learning process. Educationists and teachers in their quest to provide a positive learning experience understand that a personalized approach, real-time feedback mechanism and a strong value system deeply impact the way a student thinks and promotes a growth mindset in them.
Here we share with you a list of simple strategies and exercises that have proven useful for creating a productive learning environment at school and in the classroom.
Break the ice
A student spends almost 8 hours at school, his second home. Why not make this time an informative, fun and comfortable way to learn and grow? Team building exercises, interactive games help in easing classroom dynamics. These activities also help build a healthy rapport with the teachers. Some really simple yet effective exercises may include
- Sharing the summer experiences on the first few days of school
- Assigning them a task of introducing themselves through a letter. This way each of you will know something about one another.
The more you know about your student’s culture, interests, and mindsets, the better you can reach out to them and connect better.
Make learning relevant by this principle: Involve, collaborate and succeed.
Adding an element of collaboration in the classroom is a good way to engage the students positively. When the subject is made interesting or topics are taught in innovative ways, it fosters improved learning and attention.
Each student has his own interests. Whenever time permits, try and understand each student on an individual basis. And when it comes to classroom teachings, make sure that every individual feels a part of the classroom.
Get students involved in the process of designing projects, presentations and more. This helps them take ownership of their learning environment. Remember that students have psychological needs like order, belonging, competence and freedom of expression. When teachers intentionally address these needs in the classroom, students are happy and student engagement and learning increase.
Discuss and Set the decorum
A friendly classroom environment isn’t the same as an unruly crowd of students. There is a difference between positive behaviors and not-so-positive behaviors. Establish decorum in the classroom, discuss this with students and take their inputs. Show students that they are valued for their contribution. Together set an appropriate classroom behaviour that is fair, respectful and authentic. After all, we’d all like to treat others the way we want to be treated...
Understanding what positive learning and decorum actually mean
A classroom is a hub of cultural diversity. Children from different family backgrounds come together here. Most often, there could be a lot of differences in the way they think. The underlying belief of positive actions is they ultimately lead to a good feeling and positive self-image. They include:
- Emphasis on balanced nutrition, ample exercise, and sleep all of which contribute to a healthy body
- Encouraging Problem-solving, decision-making and critical thinking skills to develop the brain
- Reinforcing positive actions such as kindness, honesty, acceptance and respect
- Developing motivating, positive actions such as time management, goal setting that lead to personal growth
The abovementioned behaviors when putting into practice continuously, help children feel good about themselves and they develop intrinsic motivation. Positivity is one of the most powerful agents of change for establishing and maintaining a positive learning environment at school and in the classroom.
Seek support and help
Creating a positive learning environment takes a lot of work–and can happen best when all teachers, parents and the school work together. Reach out to other teachers and educators as you create your path in this learning experience.
While these are the broader dimensions that help create a positive learning space. Here are a few basic elements that help in nurturing a confident classroom
- Avoid, comparison at all costs
- Don’t pigeonhole any students
- Avoid competitive team-building exercises. It is all about collaboration, not competition.
- Be enthusiastic! Smile! Let your students know that you're excited to be there with them. Your positive attitude and enthusiasm make a big difference to the students.
- Treat each of your students with the same love, respect and attention; it will bring out the best in each child and foster a positive learning environment. And more importantly, you'll help each student build esteem and self-worth that will last a lifetime.
- Focusing on the positive in every student will enable you to create and maintain truly positive learning.
- Establishing a relationship with parents early on sets the stage for better understanding of the student.
Live in the Moment.
Fostering a positive learning environment can be challenging as much as it can be fun. This is an ongoing process, so just enjoy the present moment.
As one works hard in creating a positive learning environment for students, stay focused on the present.
Also, remember to celebrate success.
The next time a class goal is achieved, celebrate the efforts and learning in whichever way you can. It doesn’t have to be a big celebration. Even a small token of appreciation goes a long way in keeping the motivation high.
We at Epistemo Vikas Leadership School believe that together as a team, parents, teachers and educators have the ability to educate, inspire and empower students to learn more, dream more and become more. We truly believe in nurturing a positive learning environment to help students succeed. With a participatory approach to teaching and learning, we aim to establish a learning environment in which all students feel valued, safe, and supported.
We aspire to be a school that nurtures, enables and empowers young adults to become global leaders who in turn can make this world a better place to live in.