Building Community in Your Classroom

The end of summer is quickly approaching. Is it just us, or did it fly by? Settling into a classroom with a whole new group of students can be hectic, so we’ve come up with this list to help you start fostering a community in your classroom.

  1. Be yourself: Don’t underestimate the ability of children to tell when you’re not being genuine. And being genuine will get you everywhere. An honest teacher can expect to have more honest students and a more solid foundation for trust.
  2. Listen: This covers a lot of different aspects in the classroom. Listen to what your students are saying, pay attention to their body language, learn how to judge how comfortable they are with different topics by simply listening. You’ll be able to be much more efficient in aiding them. Also, try and get to know them. This can be hard in larger classrooms, so we suggest having them write something about themselves or tell the class something about themselves at the beginning of the year as a jumping off point. If students can sense that you’re truly invested in their experience, they’ll be much more likely to reach toward fulfilling their potential.
  3. Remain flexible: What works for one class may be disastrous for another. Be open to adjusting your teaching method and the way you run things to suit your students. Also, students will love you if you give them options when assigning homework/projects.
  4. Share: Encourage group discussions. Whether it’s question and answer sessions or group work or even presentations that receive feedback from the entire class, share, share, share. Your students will not only be more comfortable and confident among each other, but also with you.

What do you do to foster community in your classroom? Let us know in the comments!