A classroom has to be constructed in a way that creates the perfect environment for learning. It is not just the overall makeup and setting of the classroom itself that is important but creating an environment that is judgment free, accepting, thought provoking, and empowering is extremely important.
The classroom itself should be set up in a clean and neat manner. This removes any unnecessary clutter that exists and would otherwise impact your teaching. It is important to have empowering posters and signs that remind your students of working hard and being respectful. The ambience of a classroom is highly important.
“The ambience in the classroom is how it is physically set up. Again, this should reflect your core ideals. Desks arranged in rows does not allow for a very communal atmosphere, so you may want to come in just before your class and rearrange the desks in a circle, groups or pairs”
At Math Genie our classrooms are set up in a half moon shape or in pairs of twos that allows our teachers and students to engage with one another in a communal manner. The physical seating structure plays a large role in shaping the teacher student relationship in the classroom. As a teacher, I am at the center of the half circle which allows me to monitor what each of my students are doing but not just such but I am also able to help my students in a more proactive manner.
While ambience is important in my opinion the most important part of making your classroom the ideal environment for success is to create a space that makes your students and others feel comfortable. If children are in a setting in which they do not feel comfortable, they are less likely to participate, ask questions, or even have the desire to learn.
There are various ways to achieve this:
- Being respectful
- Being thoughtful to everyone’s needs and concerns
- Encouraging Students to as questions and invoking their curiosity
- Speaking to everyone in a kind and respectful manner
So one might ask, how and why a positive environment is so important after all and how it correlates to learning and success? “Well, an environment where students do not feel accepted or respected is a distraction from learning. A positive learning environment means that a student feels comfortable, has a sense of rapport with their teacher and peers, and believes they can be successful (Elizabeth F. Barkley, 2010. Student Engagement Techniques) According to Barkley (2010), a positive learning leads to endorphins in the blood which in turn gives feelings of euphoria and stimulates the frontal lobe. Essentially, learning becomes a pleasurable experience rather than of one where the student fights or flees”
An ideal environment that promotes learning makes its students feels safe and empowered. Students come in to class with pep in their step. They are happy to come to class. They want to be there, they look forward to coming back. That’s the kind of setting you want to establish. Also, Students know that they must be kind, and respectful, and as a teacher you must lead by example. Your students will look up to you, so it is important that you are always stressing and demonstrating these various expectations in your actions as well. All of these expectations are a part of the core ideals of Math Genie. Our teacher’s, staffs, students, and parents all understand the importance of maintaining an exemplary environment for learning. So if you’re looking for that perfect environment that promotes learning and success, whether you’re a teacher looking for a job, or a parent that has their child’s best interests in mind give us a call today at Math Genie.