What do you think is the most important sign of a high-quality classroom for students? Is it the curriculum being taught? The art supplies? The cleanliness? How about the methodology? Lesson plans? Organic homemade snacks?
How to make a high-quality classroom for students? This is a question that many mentors and school administrators often ponder.
Let me tell you a top-secret, To make a high-quality classroom for students, the answer is not any of the above options. It’s something that will not cost you a single penny and is super easy to do. The single most important thing that distinguishes a high-quality classroom from an average one is your relationship with the students.
A child spends the maximum time of his/her life during schooling years with the teachers. Hence, it is very important that teachers utilize a major chunk of their students’ time in building a real connection with them and consequentially providing a comfortable safe where the students can absolutely be themselves.
However, many teachers find it a little difficult how to make the students comfortable. That’s why we have listed out certain steps that you can take to build a healthy relationship with your students.
- Get Off on the Right Foot: When the new session begins, after a brief introduction, let the children explore the classroom. Spend some time with each child individually to know a little something about each one of them. Give the students your full attention so that the student starts to trust you. Other things can be done later, don’t think about them at that moment.
- Learn How to Listen: Just giving a child your full attention is not enough if you are not LISTENING to him/her. Listen to their fears, what brings them joy, things that they love doing the most, what is the one thing that they’d like to do when they grow up, and anything and everything that they want to tell you during those few minutes of interaction. Doing this shows the child that you care enough for them and that they can trust you.
- Smile and Talk About Anything Under the Sky: Not a creepy one, of course. Smile genuinely. While you are conversing with the students, always use a pleasant tone and soft volume. Ask questions that are open-ended so that the child can open up.
Questions about students’ families, birthdays, likes, and dislikes are great to build a comfortable space for them to open up.
Share some tidbits about yourself as well. Tell them what can they expect from you, what are your hobbies. Talk about the subject you are going to teach them. Show the students how passionate you are about your subject and see the students getting impressed with it.
Learn their interests as knowing and showing that you know this about each child will really go a long way toward making them feel important! It will also help you prepare your pedagogy around the students’ interests. It really personalizes the classroom experience for the children.
Although each teacher has a distinctive way of gelling up with their students, it is important to know some really basic ones. A high-quality classroom does not build on having the perfect teaching methodologies, or the maximum number of A+ students in the class. Rather a high-quality classroom for students is built upon the structure of respect and care between a teacher and his/her students.
Of course, it will take time and effort from your side. No matter, how students are in their lives outside school, having a strong relationship of care and respect towards their teachers is something that most students really value. And at the end of your teaching career, this is the only valuable non-material possession that you will retire with.