Keep It Positive: Improving Classroom Culture Through Social and Emotional Skills
There are many obstacles a teacher must navigate when trying to create a positive atmosphere in the classroom. Students bring baggage from home, they are stressed because of tests or assignments, or they are self-conscious and exploring their own status in the school's social hierarchy. Some students lose their love for learning as a result of the endless list of stressers in their life. This can result in students acting out, mistreating others, and avoiding participation. All these things add up to create a negative classroom atmosphere which can seriously stunt the learning of your students.
Stress decreases cognitive function and retention. Stressed students get lower grades and are more disruptive in class. These behaviors, along with academic lag, only get worse as a student progresses through the grades. To combat this, teachers are looking for ways to engage students and improve the atmosphere of their classroom, but it can be hard to find the balance between pushing students to their full potential and overwhelming them with expectations.
End Bullying and Shame
Putting an end to bullying is, of course, a key element in creating a positive classroom culture. Not only does bullying stunt learning in the classroom by preventing students from focusing and participating, studies show that bullied students experience adverse effects on their physical, mental, and emotional health far into adulthood. It is the responsibility of all us to protect students from this damage.
Having a teaching style free of shame and ridicule is another crucial piece to this puzzle. If students feel emotionally unsafe with their teacher and peers, class participation and investment in learning decreases significantly. A teacher who helps their students feel safe and encouraged builds a sense of belonging, trust, and self confidence. When students participate, not only are they more engaged in the curriculum, but they also learn from each other and develop a sense of community with their classmates.
Build a Safe Space for Everyone
Schools provide the principal setting for social development in children. The culture that the school provides will affect the lens through which they see the world for the rest of their lives. That is why it is imperative that schools consistently work towards creating an atmosphere that will teach students that they are safe and that learning is worthwhile.
Social and emotional skills are some of the greatest tools a student can receive. Once taught, a child can communicate their experiences and their concerns. They learn to be empathetic and take care of their peers. They grow more confident with their placement in the world which allows them to explore and truly love learning. If we can teach students these basic skills, the classroom becomes a magical place of growth and development for students and teachers alike.
Teachers are using many different kinds of tools to instill these social and emotional skills in their students. Mightifier is an emotional learning tool that aids teachers in developing and tracking these skills in their pupils. This cloud-based app uses positive pedagogy to teach students character development. The materials in the curriculum help students create a flourishing educational environment. The data gathered from the program can assist teachers detect early signs of isolation and bullying. Take a look at how Mightifier can aid you in providing social emotional learning to students.
It takes the whole classroom to create a positive culture. So, teach your students empathy and respect for one another, because these skills will serve them for the rest of their lives. When the equations and the dates have faded, their belief in kindness and community will remain.