17 minutes read
May 6, 2022
The Reasons Why Your Child Needs a Positive Learning Environment to Study Well
Have you tried different things to make your students study better but have had little success? The reason is not always you, the subject, or the teaching process; sometimes, it is something as unexpected as the space kids are learning in. Teachers must consider changing their habits and approaches since kids need a positive learning environment.
What is a positive learning environment?
A positive learning environment is more than elements in a classroom; it refers to a place where children are encouraged to learn from the teachers and each other. To study adequately, a child must be able to share ideas with peers in the class without the fear of intimidation.
Kids must know that they can question every answer they get from solving a problem and learn by seeing things from the perspective of other students. In a positive learning environment, the teaching process is participatory in that teachers carry the students along instead of making them listen, accept, and regurgitate what they have learned.
The difference between a positive classroom environment and a negative learning environment
One of the characteristics of a positive learning environment is that it completely changes the way students apply the ideas they have learned. If your children reiterate everything they have learned from you instead of assimilating the ideas in ways they understand better, the learning environment isn’t the best.
Negative learning environment stifles creativity and promotes strict conformity, while a positive atmosphere inspires trust, making children feel supported and showing them that failure is not necessarily bad. Children are afraid to discuss ideas, solutions, and creative approaches in a hostile learning environment.
Why is a positive classroom environment important?
You may be wondering why you have to care about creating a positive learning environment for a child rather than just teaching them. The answer is you are responsible for mental, academic, and emotional development of the children you teach. The metrics of measuring your success as a teacher start from your students’ test scores and end at the level of their emotional wellbeing.
To provide the best learning experience for your students, you must create a suitable environment. Here are a few reasons why a positive classroom environment is essential:
A positive learning environment helps a child learn
A child learns to question everything around them in the proper environment, thus developing critical thinking. In this atmosphere, they learn to build conversations around concepts they have learned in class. The confidence kids build makes it easier to understand formulas and ideas.
A positive learning environment helps you grow as a teacher
You grow as a teacher when the children under your guidance are progressing. Your reputation soars as your students get through difficulties and make better grades. Sometimes, there is no reason to rebuild your portfolio after each job if your success speaks for you.
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13 Strategies for Creating a Positive Learning Environment in Classroom
Creating a positive learning environment requires more than improving everyday interactions with students. You may need to overhaul existing processes to transform the learning environment.
But before making changes, you must realize that each child is unique, so you may need to apply individual approaches to improve their experience. Here are 13 strategies detailing how to create a positive learning environment.
Address the needs of your students
Your job as a teacher does not end with just teaching the subject you were paid to teach. Each student in your class has emotional, and mental needs that should be addressed by someone. Removing yourself from this equation will leave your students believing that you do not care about their wellbeing.
Students come to class and expect you to address their needs and would only be happy if you pay enough attention to them. It takes a village to raise a child. So, don’t think that the onus of helping your students grow rests only with parents.
Treat each child personally, find out their needs, and endeavor to meet these needs to the best of your ability. Reach out to someone who can address those needs you cannot handle. The bottom line is that your students should never think that you don’t care about them.
Create a sense of order
While children love the freedom to be themselves without restraint, they still need to work under your guidance. Kids may not love you for it initially, but as time goes on, they will learn to appreciate the order you create. An easy way to develop a sense of order is to list expectations from your students by creating a workable routine.
For example, once you come into the class, after niceties, your first task should be to find out about assignments they may have missed. Demand an explanation for each homework that a student misses and put structures in place to ensure that the situation does not reoccur. Your interest in their academic success will make students ask about the lesson they may have missed.
Creating a routine that works teaches children to follow the same behavior. When they come to class, they know what to expect based on the pattern you’ve created. You can also engage students in a learning activity every morning so that it becomes second nature to them.
Invent a unique greeting method
You may not know this, but greeting your kids every morning creates a positive learning environment. Greeting goes beyond coming into the class and saying ‘good morning, kids.’ Instead, walk into class, call each child by their name and greet them by either fist-bumping, high-fiving, or hugging them.
While welcoming them, you can chat with students who seemed out of sorts the previous day. Alternatively, you can stand at the door and repeat welcoming, encouraging words as kids walk into class. Starting the day with positive moments would make kids want to come to class every day.
You do not necessarily have to become a favorite teacher from the first day because that takes time. However, you can be a teacher who makes their kids come to school looking forward to classes every day. If you were mad at a child for being a pain the previous day, greeting that child the next day reminds them that every day is a new day.
Show kids a bit of yourself
Sometimes, students know teachers as just teachers, which should be fixed. We do not suggest you do a tell-all series about yourself to your students, but let them see you as more than a teacher. Have a day when you tell them your favorite color, food, or movie.
If you are teaching Pre-K children, you can show them pictures of you when you were young. Children need to understand that you are human like them, just a lot bigger. If you plan to counsel kids, you will need to share your own relatable stories from the times when you were their age or in their current shoes.
Let students know you like waffles, gummy bears, and ice cream. Making kids feel understood is essential to their emotional and mental well-being. At the same time, your students must know your values and principles. Teaching kids your personal values will encourage them to create theirs.
Be generous with praises
When a child succeeds at a task, academically or behaviorally, it is essential to let them know how you feel about that win. Sometimes, what a child may have achieved could be as simple as getting through a class without disrupting or yelling. As a teacher, you know how relieving it was for you to have not turned into a crisis control expert for that child, so let a kid know that as well.
Rewarding good behavior enforces that action. The effects of praising people are evident in children. Instead of only expressing displeasure when your students do something wrong, praise their good deeds.
You should use creative approaches to express your pleasure instead of limiting your system to positive words. When a child hits an educational goal, roll out the sirens and praise them. Let them know they did well by rewarding them.
Teach children to see failure as a learning tool
Children will encounter failures and losses as they grow, but they mustn’t see them as a terrible thing. Sometimes, teachers drive children towards sadness when they fail because of their reaction to the failure. It is not right to make a child feel like a failure because they flunked a task.
Instead of letting kids wallow in self-doubt, teach your students the place of failure in every success story. Let them see every test as a chance to learn something new irrespective of grades. You can also discourage classroom bullying and segregation that may develop between the students who typically get higher scores and those who don’t.
Children need to be confident in their losses as they are in their successes, and it is your duty as the teacher to make sure of this. When students do not get things right, have them walk you through their thought processes and see all the points where they may have faltered. Correct the wrongs that led them to that failure, ensuring they learn from the mistake.
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Encourage learning through games and hands-on activities
Many adults cannot stand math today because they struggled with some teaching methods being kids. These days, more children like math because of the availability of games and math activities that interest and keep kids glued to math concepts. Games and exercises are perfect for bonding and making sure your kids learn the things you teach them.
You can also use technology to boost your students’ love for learning. These days, you can get tablets designed for kids. They contain video lessons, puzzles, and apps that make learning more enjoyable; so, introduce suitable digital tools to your kids.
The students in your class should know more than basic things about each other. If your classroom is that space where students come to learn only and then go home, kids won’t have wholesome relationships with each other. With games in the mix, children can bond better and grow friendships that will last long and make them look forward to coming to class.
Limit the prevalence of cliques
You cannot do much to stop your students from forming cliques in the classroom because some kids will bond better, but you need to limit the prevalence of such groups. Children can be mean to kids they do not like, especially when they have support from peers. Find ways to make every child in the class form a relationship with others so that nobody ends up isolated.
Your job is to ensure that none of your students dread coming to school because they do not belong to any cliques. An excellent strategy is to create exercises that encourage students to work together to succeed. Always use random selection methods when pairing students for those activities.
A classroom where children feel left out is a hostile learning environment. So, pay attention to their cafeteria moves, the way they spend time during lunch break, and how they huddle together during free periods. Watching them lets you know who belongs to the clique and who is left out.
Don’t openly criticize your students
Teachers should already know that they are not allowed to criticize their students openly, but we are humans, and sometimes, our biases find a way to come through. Consider this a reminder never to judge your children before knowing all the facts.
What you feel about one’s actions is immaterial if you cannot explain those feelings without judgment. You are meant to admonish students, correct their wrongs, and even scold them when there is a need for that, but be mindful about the way you present your thoughts.
If you have preconceived biases, nip them in the bud and remember that you are dealing with kids. A place where a child feels judged is not a positive learning environment. So, endeavor to address the wrongs of children without ridiculing them.
Instead of merely teaching a lesson, encourage peer-to-peer interactions in the class. Whether you are in the class or not, your students should be able to interact with their classmates about the things they have learned in class or outside class. Peer interactions help them see things from the perspective of people other than themselves.
You can foster collaboration between students by setting up group assignments and projects. Encourage students to share their methods in front of the class while peers ask them questions.
If you build a culture of understanding, interaction between children will make things easier for you. To push these interactions to the point where kids hold them in your absence, you have to host students in round-table-style discussions.
Teachers are not always right, and students should have the right to question you.
‘Why is this happening?’
‘Why did you choose this?’
‘Why do I have to sit here?’
‘What will happen if I do this?’
These are questions that you must be open to answering as a teacher.
Also, note that ‘Because I say so’ or ‘Because I want it’ is not a valid answer to your students’ questions. Your answers must be logical and open to further questioning if needed. We must encourage critical thinking in our children.
Don’t focus on reward-based learning
If you raise kids using a reward-based system, they may expect a gift every time they do something noteworthy. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. If students believe they will get a gift for every milestone, they will be disappointed. So, while rewarding your students, ensure you don’t overdo it.
Encourage vulnerability with you as an example
Kids need to learn that it is okay to be vulnerable, but you need to show them how. They watch you and learn from you, so you need to open up before asking them to do the same and share their feelings. Being distant while expecting children to feel safe around you is a counterproductive strategy.
A positive learning environment is a way to ensure that your kids thrive academically and socially. Such learning environment has little to do with aesthetics and more with students’ management. It is your job as a teacher to ensure that your kids learn in an environment that teaches them new things and, more importantly, enhances their gifts and talents. So, use the tips in this article to improve your students’ learning environment.