Teachers are always wanting to ensure that their students like them. They strive to provide interesting lessons each day and hope that the students will be motivated to learn and achieve. The challenge for teachers becomes linked with balancing friendliness, trust, and kindness with discipline, accountability, and expectations.
Students can mistake a friendly teacher attitude as favoritism and believe they are not as valued as other students in the classroom. Awkward situations can arise between a teacher and a student whenever there is a feeling that the two are friends thus leading to misunderstanding and mistrust.
Teachers must be aware that technology can provide outlets for students that can link the two as “friends.” Facebook enables students to communicate with teachers and begin to believe that the teacher is someone who is “cool” and interested in their personal lives. The risk can be quite high for teachers and may lead to serious consequences.
Create a Friendly Classroom Environment
Teachers who are leaders will provide a learning environment that is inviting and that feels safe to students. As soon as students walk into the classroom, they should feel a friendly atmosphere that will motivate them to do the daily tasks set before them. It is a matter of creating a setting for the students that support successful completion of learning tasks and a positive relationship between teacher and students as well as within the student group.
One way to create this environment is to greet the students each day. This can be done by starting the class with a simple good morning or hello. Some teachers use an anticipatory set at the beginning of each lesson to ensure that the students are ready to learn and listen. Organizing the lesson with a beginning and ending sends a message to the students that learning has a purpose and that the teacher wants to see each one of them enjoy the experience in a positive way.
Communicate Well With Students
Paying attention during lessons is a very significant skill needed by all students in order to be successful. Teachers can become frustrated whenever the assessments completed by students indicate that learning was limited or did not occur as they had planned. Behavior issues can also arise that distract from what a teacher may be presenting in class.
One important key to successful student outcomes is linked with communication. Teachers must examine their methods of communication whenever they are analyzing the progress of the students. If there is a disconnect between the teacher and the students, eventually there will be a different teacher identity which is no longer being the leader of the students. Similar to some of the top roulette methods there should not be any disconnection.
Stay in a Positive Mode While Teaching
Whenever students are asked why they liked a particular teacher, usually the answers will be linked with the fact that the teacher was interesting and caring. In order to provide a friendly classroom environment, teachers must exert every effort to teach with a positive mindset and face the challenges that arise with a commitment to ensuring the best possible for each student. Challenges could be many during any given school year. However, it is the responsibility of every teacher to search for answers and to work towards providing learning as the positive that occurs in the classroom.
Providing daily praise to students will help portray that positive. It is significant that teachers understand praise must be appropriate and applicable to the specific situation. The problem becomes when the verbal praise is misconstrued by the student as saying the teacher likes him. This can lead to the mistaken identity of being a friend to the student rather than a leader whose goal is to motivate learning. Teachers must praise the efforts and the actions rather than the student personally. Whenever the teacher states he liked the way in which a student handled a challenging situation, that student then has the opportunity to feel encouraged and be motivated to continue the same positive behavior.
There is a fine line that has been drawn between teachers and students when it comes to the relationships in the classroom. The roles of teachers are clearly linked with promoting student learning successfully and helping students find the best strategies to reach their academic goals. When teachers create friendly classroom environments, communicate clearly with the students, and remain positive whenever helping students find solutions, the opportunity for learning is endless.
How to Create a Welcoming Classroom for Students
Prior to a school year beginning, teachers are preparing their classrooms so that they are inviting, safe, and conducive to learning. It is important that whenever the students arrive for the first day of school the classroom is motivating. It is also important that each learning activity be free of as little distraction as possible.
When preparing the classroom, teachers can spend a great deal of money on bulletin boards, visuals, and supplies that may be needed and which are not covered by the school budget. They want to create a classroom that not only promotes a good place for learning but also provides one that stimulates thinking.
Create Bulletin Boards That Have no Cost
Every classroom has bulletin boards that are used for displaying information, student accomplishments, and announcements about what is happening in class. Teachers have a variety of resources available to them that they can buy at various teacher resource stores. However, in order to spend less money, teachers can save by using items that may be from the students of a past year, things that may be at home, and free items that can be donated from stores in the local community (use wallpaper samples to be the background on the bulletin boards).
Student work can be used to welcome the new students entering on the first day. Consider saving past student artwork, possibly written work such as poems or letters that greet the new students telling them about what they will be learning, or photos that the teacher may have taken during the past school year. By completing a bulletin board that utilizes items from the past year, a teacher spends no money. It is important, that when using a student’s work, the teacher asks that student for permission and make sure the student knows that the work will be used on a bulletin board display. In almost every case, the student will gladly volunteer his work and will also feel proud that this will be used to greet new students.
Keep the Classroom Motivating not Distracting
Teachers must address distractions in the classroom. Many times the number of objects in the room or too many displays on the walls can cause students to focus on other things rather than the teacher’s lesson. When creating a classroom with visuals, teachers should look at the room and decide whether the visuals add to learning or distract from learning. A teacher should also examine whether there are too many desks, tables, materials, shelves, projects hanging from the ceilings, and furniture that is creating a maze-like environment. There should be an easy flow from the entrance to where the students sit. The students should also feel a sense of comfort rather than crowded.
The design of the classroom can decide whether it is distraction-free. The design should be functional and should match what the teacher may be teaching. If the teacher wants a classroom environment to motivate active student participation, then the desks should be arranged so that students can see each other and the teacher. When the lesson involves the need to pay close attention to the teacher, then the design should lend itself to promoting student focus on the teacher. By linking the teacher’s style of teaching to the setting, student attention can be improved.
The classroom is a very important place whenever it comes to promoting student learning. In many cases, the classroom becomes the home away from home for a great deal of time in a student’s lifetime. Teachers who prepare their rooms as inviting and motivating will see many benefits. The positive results of preparing rooms with visuals linked with learning and seating matched with easier learning will be endless.