Communities can be difficult to create, especially in a classroom setting. Here are three ways to make your learning environment more inclusive and engaging for all students.

The “strategies to build community in the classroom” is a strategy that can be used to make your classroom a community. The strategies are: 1) Create an inclusive environment, 2) Engage students in meaningful activities, and 3) Teach students how to teach each other.

3 Strategies To Make Your Classroom a Community

3-Strategies-To-Make-Your-Classroom-a-Community

 

We’re halfway through the summer, and in some areas, the 2021-22 school year is just a few weeks away. Following the pandemic’s many interruptions, the overwhelming majority of schools are anticipated to reopen for full-time, in-person schooling. Many instructors, understandably, spend the summer preparing how they will detect and solve learning gaps when students return. To make this year a success, school leaders must also consider how they will promote the types of caring connections that are the basis for learning and growth between teachers and students.

All instructors understand that establishing these relationships fosters a classroom atmosphere in which students want to participate and interact. However, according to Search Institute’s student surveys, the quality of student-teacher interactions deteriorates throughout middle and high school. Only 16% of students believe their instructors care about them and encourage them to achieve their best at the end of high school. Students learn best when they are treated as individuals, feel free to ask for assistance, and are encouraged to take chances. Consider the potential if more kids were able to form meaningful relationships with instructors, particularly as they approach maturity.

The good news is that we can ensure that all children have one-on-one interactions with educators, and evidence indicates that kids gain academically and socially when this is done. Positive teacher-student connections are linked to higher levels of engagement, motivation, and academic achievement.

Furthermore, these beneficial effects seem to be more prevalent among low-income, minority, and low-achieving children. This is significant because we know that the pandemic had disproportionately poor health, economic, and educational consequences for children of color and their families. According to a RAND research, schools that operated entirely remotely in the previous year serviced greater percentages of pupils of color and low-income kids. In addition, schools using a hybrid approach reported substantially less teaching time and curriculum coverage than schools using an in-person model. As a result, it’s essential that schools prioritize actions in the next year that will fulfill their requirements. 

That begins with making plans for a return to school that is based on relationships and connection. We are aware that some children will be returning to the classroom following an 18-month period of studying from home. Many people have been through a lot of hardship and tragedy. It will be critical to ensure that each kid feels seen, heard, and appreciated as a member of a community in order to promote their well-being and academic achievement. And it shouldn’t be only on the shoulders of individual instructors to make it happen.

Here are three approaches that school and district leaders may use to put their commitment to establishing good connections into action.

  1. Provide practical advice: Educators should not be required to create the wheel. Several groups have put together a list of suggestions for creating back-to-school programs that are focused on relationships. The CCSSO’s well-being and connection recovery guide offers ideas and resources to help educators, students, and families. The roadmap developed by CASEL assists school leaders and leadership teams in implementing important social-emotional learning strategies.
  2. Recognize each student: Over the previous year, educators tried everything from phone calls to home visits to keep kids interested in remote learning, even dressing up as the school’s mascot to honor students who had almost perfect attendance. Maintaining these relationships with kids and their families will be important when students return to school (even if it doesn’t need a mascot costume). One of the strongest predictors of resilience to adverse life experiences in a child’s life is having at least one supportive and caring adult relationship, and the best way to establish that relationship is to ensure that every student can check in with an adult who knows them as an individual on a regular basis. Creating a routine in which students reflect on their lives both within and outside of school fosters belonging and may be an effective approach for addressing incomplete learning.
  3. Obtain the necessary equipment: Time is the most obstinate impediment to forming connections. Students’ schedules are jam-packed, especially in middle and high school, and they may have half a dozen or more instructors on any one day. If one-on-one check-ins with students aren’t feasible, make sure instructors have ways to communicate asynchronously (and know how to use them). Along was created by Gradient Learning to allow instructors and students to check in on their own schedule and in a manner that suits them. Teachers may send reflection questions to students in order to encourage them to open up. Students have the option of responding through video, voice, or text. 

A new school year is always a chance for a new beginning. This year, schools may make a conscious effort to invest in developing good connections in order for all kids to succeed.

Adobe Stock-licensed photo by AnnaStills.

The “how to build community in the classroom” is a strategy that can be used to make your classroom a community. The strategies are: 1) Create an atmosphere of belonging, 2) Make it easy for students to talk and 3) Have fun together.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you create a community in your classroom?

A: This is not a question.

What makes a good classroom community?

A: There are a lot of different factors that contribute to making an effective classroom community, but some elements that have been shown to be beneficial include:
-The ability for students to easily engage one another with communication technology;
-Teachers who feel like they can ‘be themselves’ and not worry too much about repercussions;
-Students being able to learn from each other as well as their teachers in ways traditional teaching methods cannot.

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