10 Ways to Create Positive Learning Experiences
Hustle & Flow: Classroom Style
The words hustle and flow describe one basic word to me: activity.
I want my classroom to be full of activity. Productive activity. You may not agree with some of the things I’m writing, but remember, I’m suggesting these for the long-term effect they will have on the student culture and classroom atmosphere.
The following are some ways to keep the hustle and flow going in your classroom and to help create a positive learning environment.
1. Address students by name. Our names are our identity and we should use them as much as possible. Learn your students names, and the correct pronunciation immediately!
2. Use “please” and “thank you”. We take these words for granted but we need to keep in mind how important giving respect is in order to earn respect. Put these words to daily use on tests, homework, worksheets, presentations, etc. Saying “thank you” for an answer shows you hear them and appreciate them, even if the answer is wrong.
3. Listen. Students crave our attention and focus. We should be extremely careful that in listening we are NOT physically turning away, sighing, frowning, rolling our eyes, talking to someone else, or looking away. We show people they matter by our body language, whether we mean it or not. Body language can create a division in the classroom.
4. Don’t allow bullying/teasing/put downs. Students need to know that they are entering a safe environment. They need to be comfortable and know they fit in before they can learn and take risks in their learning. This needs to be implemented from the very beginning. No bullying from students or from teachers! We are responsible for what we allow in the classroom. For every put down, require two put ups (that person now has to say two nice things.) The put ups don’t mean anything; what matters is your consistency in protecting life and creating a level playing field for everyone.
5. Make Eye Contact. Making quick eye contact is important in creating a culture of trust. Students matter. They aren’t lifeless objects just sitting in our room (although they may look like it) and we should we treat them as the valuable people they are. Recognize them.