How do you maintain an effective positive learning environment? Good question! This can be challenging, here is a list of tips and techniques from my research and our instructional strategies 3250 online forum:
– Set the boundaries and expectations of what is acceptable. This point has been brought up in many of the teaching tips websites and textbooks, establishing the ground rules in the first class.
– Develop a good relationship with the students, creating a positive connection with everyone. It is less likely there will be disruptive behaviour if the students feel the teacher cares about them with a mutual respect. The teacher should use an appropriate level of dominance and authority, assertive versus aggressive.
– Use verbal and non verbal cues. Non threatening direct eye contact with a disruptive student can help calm them down.
– Incorporate stretch breaks and breathing exercises. Scientific research has shown that proper breathing enhances memory retention. An example of a little yoga routine is linked in the references list below.
– If there is one specific student who continually disrupts the class, pull them aside for a private conversation. Signalling them out in front of the class can backfire.
– Establish feedback systems so that the students feel like they are being heard and the teacher checks in how things are going. This helps can help prevent an issue from becoming a classroom management problem.
Marzano, R. J., & Marzano, J. S. (2003). The key to classroom management. Educational Leadership, 61(1), 6-13. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept03/vol61/num01/The-Key-to-Classroom-Management.aspx
Sheridan, R. (2012, Oct 8). Classroom Management Tips for Regaining Control of the Classroom. Faculty Focus: Higher Ed Teaching Strategies from Magna Publications. Retrieved from: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-classroom-management/classroom-management-tips-for-regaining-control-of-the-classroom/