Good relationships, good communication, and trust
No matter what strategies used to develop and support positive learning environments, there are at least three elements that most educators agree are needed to compliment the learning environment. These three elements are in an article located in edutopia written by Lina Raffaelli (2014). In her article entitled “32 Strategies for Building a Positive Learning Environment”, the author list elements that contribute to a positive learning environment and they are:
Get started early. Build positive relationships with students and parents starting with the first day of school. Let students get to know you (and each other) by preparing fun icebreakers or exchanging letters. Consider sending a letter home to parents or calling each home to establish those relationships right away.
Take your time. You may be tempted to jump right into content when the school year starts, but taking the time to build relationships will pay off later. You’ll create individual relationships that last and a community for your students.
Ask for help. Your fellow faculty and staff are your greatest resource. Reach out to the teachers next door or the thousands of teachers on Twitter. There will be someone out there who not only has an answer to your question, but wants to connect and join your professional circle.
Speak their language. Use humor, tech, or other strategies to get on their level. That extra effort will go a long way in relating to students. This strategy can be used to present traditionally “mundane” information, like classroom rules and regulations.
Start from stratch. You might know your rules backwards and forwards, but remember your students are most likely new to your teaching style and expectations. Try not to assume your students know how to do seemingly basic tasks, like collaborating or taking notes. This can be time consuming, but like building relationships, it’ll pay off.
Let your students make decisions. From classroom layout to project ideas, let students have a say. Fewer decisions for you to make and fun for students to feel like they helped create their environment” (Raffaelli, 2014).
Good relationships build a good framework for success. Teachers need good relationships with all of the stakeholders including the students, parents, other teachers, and the administration. These relationships should be casually forged before more serious matters need addressing.
Raffaelli, L. (September 2014) 32 Strategies for Building a Positive Learning Environment. edutopia. from: https://www.edutopia.org/discussion/32-strategies-building-positive-learning-environment