I like to think that I am a positive person and even more so, a positive teacher. One thing that I wanted to set out to do this year was to create a positive climate in my classroom. I make an effort to compliment my students, wish them a nice recess/lunch and get to know them which allows me to ask about their sick pet or a recent family event they attended.
I think we as teachers sometimes forget how much a simple ‘good morning’ can mean to a child. Sometimes a simple smile or a kind word might be the only kindness they receive all day or it could be the reason they look forward to coming to school.
I was recently reminded of the impact a teacher can have on a student when I received an email from a parent explaining how happy her child was after receiving a ‘student of the week’ award. He was so much happier than he had let on at school. The email warmed my heart and reminded me of how important the job of a teacher is.
Although I don’t like the generalisation in the YouTube clip below, Dr Brene Brown’s words ring true. We need to eliminate negativity in our classrooms.
I live by the thinking that if you fail a test, you are not stupid, you simply failed the test. I think it is an important way of thinking to teach children.
The 2 sisters always have fantastic tips of the week; their latest is about a teacher who has inspired her students to read through her positive attitude towards reading. Click here to read the article.
One problem I have faced throughout the year has been the time the students have taken to unpack their bags in the morning and sit on the floor ready to start the day. I found myself starting the day feeling frustrated with how long they were taking and beginning the day on a negative note. So I changed my behaviour.
Instead of being the first to enter the classroom and then sit at the front of the room, continually asking the students to quickly unpack and sit down until they were all finally seated, I now unlock the door and remain there while I greet every student as they walk in. Once I have greeted each student, unpacking and sitting on the floor becomes a challenge – the students have 5 minutes to be seated. Simply changing my words from ‘quickly unpack as fast as you can, this is not the time to have a chat’ to ‘two minutes to go!’ has made an amazing difference. The atmosphere in the room each morning has changed dramatically and we now start the day with huge smiles on our faces!
What can you change in your classroom to make it more positive?