Everyone remembers one or two classes that they looked forward to (or, at least, didn’t mind attending!). What was it about those classes or those teachers that made them so inspiring
Chances are, those teachers had put effort into creating a supportive learning environment.
A learning environment is more than just a classroom. It’s the attitude and atmosphere within that classroom. If your class feels like a safe space in which students are valued and supported, you’ll reap the rewards.
Here are five tips to help you create the kind of learning environment that gets results.
The right answer shows that a student has some knowledge. But a question shows so much more. It shows that they’re engaged in the topic, and that they’re thinking hard about it. It also shows that they’re not afraid to ask you if they want to know more.
Getting the right answer is great - but questions are the route to answers. If students are asking questions, it shows that they’re willing to learn, and aren’t worried that they’ll be punished or laughed at if the question isn’t ‘good’.
By encouraging questions, you create a curious, engaged, and supportive learning environment. One that will soon start producing those answers!
Every student learns differently. To help students understand their own learning style, mix up the learning models you use.
This will introduce students to different ways of learning, some of which may work better for them than others. It will encourage them to think critically about how they learn, and may give them a more rounded perspective on the topics at hand.
Mixing things up like this can also save your teaching from stagnating. Doing things differently adds momentum, and keeps things interesting.
As we mentioned, every student learns differently. All students also have different abilities, interests, personalities, and pressures that influence their learning experience.
Where you can, help students to learn in ways that are relevant and useful for them. Think about their individual circumstances and personalities, and use that knowledge when engaging with them.
For example, introverted students may prefer to listen than to talk. Don’t force them into group work when it’s not needed, and do recognise the extra effort it took when they do speak up.
Model the learning values you want to see. For example, if you want your students to listen to you, set an example by listening to them. If you want a compassionate, caring learning environment, be a compassionate and caring teacher.
Being the change you want to see will give your learning environment authenticity. It will help students to model and modify their own behaviour.
Assessment is a key avenue of communication between you and your students. When assessing their work, you get a feel for their capabilities, their level of learning, and how well they are engaging with your teaching. In turn, students learn a lot about your style, your preferences, and even your personality from your feedback on their work.
Nothing can make a student turn against a learning environment like an unfair assessment. Therefore, make your assessment process as fair and transparent as possible. Give constructive feedback, and be available to discuss this with any student who wants to.
Kinteract helps to get students involved no matter where they are. It builds learning communities, promotes engagement, and makes teachers’ jobs a lot easier. To find out more, book a demo today.