When is a good time to start building a strong classroom community? Although the beginning of the school year is the best time to start building a strong classroom community. I honestly and whole-heartedly believe that it's never too late.
To start, let's look at the definition of a community… here it is… a community is a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing a common attitude, interest, and goals.
Yes and yes!
This is exactly the type of strong classroom community we all aim for!
A feeling of fellowship is more than just coming to school every day. It's about feeling cared for, safe, accepted, equal, and that you belong.
Now, this doesn't happen instantly or haphazardly…
…this type of classroom community requires the teacher to be intentional and consistent.
How can you intentionally and consistently build a strong classroom community?
Start by creating a caring classroom environment!
Before jumping into academics, you've got to start with the heart! Students learn more when they believe we care about them and believe in their ability to learn. Here are some ideas to show your students you care.
The ABCs of a Caring Classroom
- Apologize when you make a mistake. (If you model apologizing, your students will be able to do it too.)
- Bring treats…students love treats.
- Celebrate students with five-second classroom cheers.
- Dance! Dance parties are great stress relievers and fun!
- Encourage students to share their feelings.
- Follow up with a phone call home when celebrating students.
- Greet your students every morning at the door with a hug, high five or handshake.
- Hang a class picture or candid class photos up in the room.
- Invite students' parents to a class celebration. For example, Author's Day.
- Jot down personal facts you want to remember.
- Keep an eye out for kids being left out during recess or PE.
- Listen… whole-hearted listening means you take the time to understand what your student is feeling.
- Make it a point to get to know your students by asking questions.
- Name drop! Brag about your students; especially when they're within earshot!
- Opinions matter. Encourage students to share their thoughts.
- Praise, praise, praise!
- Question students to get to know them better.
- Redirect behaviors in private.
- Squat down at their level when students are emotional.
- Teach students how to be good friends.
- Understand different viewpoints.
- Vote! Show students that they have a voice.
- Write your students encouraging notes. ~ *Click here for FREE notes.
- Xpect the best from your students.
- You can play with them at recess time, sometimes!
- Zap negative mindsets by helping a student reframe his/her thinking.
When your students see how you care for them, invite them to do the same for each other. They too can encourage, praise, and find the good in each other.
I truly hope that these ABC's give you some ideas that you can implement right away! Let's build up our students and let them know we care!!
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It is my goal to help you fill your students hearts and minds! Let's get started!