Category Archives: Classroom Environment

A Positive Attitude

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.

Click here and here for information about building a positive climate.

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?


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Classroom Agreements

On the first day of school, I think it is important to come up with classroom agreements as a class. First, I asked my students what kind of classroom environment they would like to have. I then explained that we needed to come up with classroom agreements about the way we should treat each other, how we should answer and ask questions, what we should do when people are talking, how we can help each other and how the students should work. I prefer ‘classroom agreements’ opposed to ‘rules’ because I wanted something the whole class could feel ownership of and understand that the classroom agreements would help us to achieve the type of classroom environment they wanted.

The class came up with: we treat others the way we would like to be treated, we put our hand up to answer and ask questions, we try our best, we celebrate each other’s success, we listen when someone is talking and we are a team. I also took photos of the students demonstrating the classroom agreement. Click here to see the post on Five White’s class blog.

The agreements are placed at the front of the classroom and are referred to when students are following and not following them.

Classroom Agreements

How did you create classroom agreements/class rules with your class?


Filed under Behaviour Management, Classroom Environment

A New School Year

It has been a very busy few weeks starting back at school for another year. I have enjoyed getting to know my students and starting the routine for a new school year. In the first few days, I have emphasised our good deed tree, a goal sheet, the ideas that we are a team and they are the reason we are here.

Good Deeds

I want my students to believe that every person can do some good in this world, be it big or small, and make the world a better place. In our classroom we have a good deed tree where the students write a good deed (an act of kindness) on a small piece of paper and stick it to an apple on the tree. This acts as a promise to complete the good deed. Once the students have completed their good deed, they can replace it with another. I’m also thinking of asking students to add good deeds they see other people doing in our school to our tree.

Good Deeds


Setting goals is an important skill for everyone to have. Goals motivate us to work towards what we want and make it more likely that we will achieve it. I provided my students with a worksheet that they need to fill out on a weekly basis. It helps them to identify something they need to work on and a way to achieve it. The students are also encouraged to reflect on their progress.

Click the link to view and download the goal setting worksheet: Goal Setting Worksheet


In my classroom, I really want to emphasise that the students and I are a team. We work together, we help and support each other, we care about each other and we celebrate each other’s success. I provided my students with a class tree and one at a time, students came up to add their fingerprint to the tree. The finished product truly emphasised that we are a team and we are all important and make up this class. It will be something that will constantly be refered to in our classroom.



I want my students to know that everything we do in our classroom has a purpose. When they write they are authors, when they complete mathematics they are being mathematicians, when they research they are researchers, when they are learning about science they are scientists and so on. Ultimately, I want the students to know that they are the reason we are here.


What have you emphasised in your classroom?


Filed under Classroom Environment

A Teacher’s Mood

As teachers, we have a huge impact on what happens in our classroom. We are all responsible for the energy we bring into a space – what kind of energy do you bring into your classroom?

  • Are you genuinely interested in your students?
  • Do you model the values and behaviours you expect of your students?
  • Do you get to know your students as people?
  • Do you have insight into your own life?
  • Are you fair in managing student behaviour?
  • Do you convey a sense of hope and a positive view of life?
  • Do you offer compliments?
  • Do you refrain from gossip and harsh words?
  • Do you feel appreciative of the good things in your life?
  • Do you use your sense of humour?
  • Do you live with imperfection and accept failures/shortcomings as well as successes?
  • Do you offer and receive forgiveness?

I’ll end this post with Haim Ginott’s words:

I have come to the frightening conclusion that:

I am the decisive element in the classroom.

It is my personal approach that creates the climate.

It is my daily mood that makes the weather.

As a teacher I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous.

I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.

I can humiliate or humour, hurt or heal.

In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated,

and a child humanised or dehumanised.


siraphat /

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Filed under Classroom Environment, Teaching