The Effective Classroom Environment Essay

1151 words - 5 pages

The Effective Classroom Environment

The environment created by the teacher in his/her classroom can have a positive or negative effect on student learning. In the school that I work in, this presents a formidable challenge. There is no way around it, MHS is an ugly building. The main walls are orange and yellow and there are virtually no walls between the classrooms. It was built in the 1970’s with an open classroom concept. This “experiment” proved to be an absolute failure. Teachers could not hear students, students could hear lessons going on in other rooms; confusion and noise abounded. Since its original construction, some temporary cubicle-type walls have been put in place but ...view middle of the document...

Projects, drawings, and decorative work allow students who are more visual and artistic to shine. They are able to demonstrate to the teacher and their classmates a level of understanding in the material that may otherwise go unnoticed.
A unique feature of my room is called the 100 Board. It is used to represent all of those students that have received a 100 on a quiz or exam. When I first decided to do this, I wasn’t sure if it would work with older adolescents. It is based upon the practice of a parent that puts their young child’s work on the refrigerator. I was pleasantly surprised to witness how much students of this age like this feature of my room. Not only does it allow students to shine, it also creates a mini-competition for achieving excellence. Students that would not normally care about their grades, really want to become part of the 100 Club, especially once one of their friends has made it. As we have learned, adolescents are constantly seeking approval and a sense of belonging. Although this is a relatively informal association, students still feel that sense of belonging with this connection. In order to make the experience even more special, I have created a ceremony where students write their name on a decorative card and place the card on the board in front of their peers.
Many posters with informative and positive messages also appear in my room. Since they are all in Spanish, students enjoy trying to figure out their meaning. Words of encouragement such as “Lets Learn Together” and “Something Great Will be the Result of a Good Attitude” are on the posters. Other posters foster diversity and the uniqueness of the individual. These help the students to feel welcome and comfortable in my classroom. Some of these posters say such things as “Have the Strength to be Yourself” and “Everyone Smiles in the Same Language”. They depict students of different races, shapes, and sizes and also strong, confident animals like the lion.
Posters that alert students to the rules and their consequences are also presented. They list the rules of the classroom and the consequences of breaking those rules are presented in a non-threatening and amusing manner. Students of this age still need structure and guidance. They are not able either physically (lack of development of the frontal cortex) or emotionally to deal with...

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