The Complete Teacher


Top 3 factors of creating a positive classroom climate

Posted by Hlengiwe Zwane on 13 February 2023, 12:30 SAST
Hlengiwe Zwane photo

Creating a positive classroom climate may seem challenging at first glance but there are three fundamental factors that can get you started. Below are the top three factors to creating a positive climate classroom that we believe you should have a look at.

Developing and reinforcing classroom rules: 
Develop rules that clearly support safe and respectful behaviour. Having classroom rules supports you create a predictable, safe learning environment for your students. Rules give your students clear boundaries and opportunities to practice self-regulation and make good choices. It's important that students feel safe in their environment so that they are able to focus better on learning.

Nurture positive relationships with all students.
You need to let your students know that you not only care about their progress in the classroom but also about them as well. Some of the ways that you can do this are:

  • Greet your students by name every time they walk in the door. This lets them know that you notice and care.

  • Use warm, inclusive behaviours with your face, body, and words daily. Smile, ask, “How are you feeling?” Look at your students. Notice and reinforce their positive behaviours with encouraging words.

  • Ask your students personal questions that will help you get to know them and what’s happening in their lives outside of school. “How was your soccer game last night?” 

  • Notice changes in students’ physical and emotional behaviours. Changes may indicate a student is in need of additional emotional support. 

  • Spend and keep track of individual time with each one of your students over a set duration.

Promote positive peer relationships. 
If you want to create an environment where your students support each other and are kind to one another. Here are some ways you create this:

  • Notice and reinforce casual positive interactions between students on a daily basis.

  • Deliberately plan relationship-building activities and games that encourage positive interactions. 

  • Pay attention to the social dynamics of your classroom. Do some students have trouble making friends? Do some students have trouble getting along with others? Who has a lot of friends? Who has few friends? This can inform your seating arrangements, guide your grouping and pairing decisions.

  • Have class meetings. Class meetings provide a safe environment in which students can discuss with you and each other topics that are important to them. You and your students can get to know each other better and build relationships through open discussions This helps create a positive classroom climate built on trust and respect.

These are just some guidelines that you can follow and build on. Try these out and let us know how these work out for you.

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