The classroom is a very special place for everyone involved in the educational process. Teachers get the chance to live out their dream of passing on their wisdom and knowledge to the future leaders of the world. Parents, on their part, do all they can to make sure their children receive the best education available and in the best environment possible. And then the students, the ones who benefit from being inside the classroom. What do they get out of the classroom? In an ideal learning environment, they will turn into great human beings and citizens of the world who know how to solve problems thanks to the subjects they learned from great teachers. Such a utopian vision of education is still a long way from occurring. Education faces many challenges nowadays and the biggest ones, “What are the basic rules within a classroom that will make it a prime place for learning?”
Respect is a two-way street
The educational system is quick to assume that teachers automatically command respect. After all, what occupation is more respectable than teaching? That’s the type of arrogant questioning that leads to many teachers demanding their students respect them but they don’t offer the same courtesy to their students. This needs to stop now. The teaching profession has changed, it’s not what it was once upon a time. Along with facing the many challenges of multiple intelligence in the classroom, teachers must not assume they will automatically be respected. This may not be much of a big deal in primary school, but after middle school students have to look up to their teachers and feel they are respected in order to respect their educator. Respect can be earned in many ways. Teachers can acknowledge students’ talents and encourage them to hone those skills. Additionally, they can invite students to express their opinions on different things going on in society. Teachers would be surprised at by how a student’s simple answer can be quite insightful.
Watch the language
The Dwyer Family Foundation has covered the impact language can have in the classroom in the past. This point cannot be stated enough. We live in a world where we can get access to information at any moment in the day and wherever we are. The latest news and trends are just an open Wi-Fi signal away. Students are bound to talk about what goes on in the world in one way or another and teachers must be very careful as to how they go about.
Furthermore, they are going to talk about what inspires them in life and what they want to make out of themselves. When students open up themselves to teachers it’s not a teacher’s place to rain on their parade. Negative comments towards someone’s aspirations could lead to them not trying as hard or even to severe depression, not to mention possible issues with parents. But teachers aren’t the only ones who should be careful about what they say; students are also accountable for their words. Both students and teachers should treat each other with constructive language rather than aggressiveness.
Curiosity cannot kill a student
Curiosity is one the greatest tools teachers have going for them in the learning process of a child. Criticizing or even punishing it is a capital sin no teacher should commit. A lot of times teachers are quick to nip curiosity in the bud just because they don’t know the answer to the question, it’s somewhat controversial, or it has nothing to do with the current class session. Rather than doing this, teachers can give students a mini assignment where they ask the student to look for information regarding his or her question and then share it with the class in the following session. This starts generating a sense of investigation in students which could in turn help them improve their study habits.
Respect. Appropriate language. Curiosity. Three ingredients to an ideal learning environment. Those should be the three basic rules of any classroom. Teachers can come to terms with students about more, but every classroom must include the ones that were mentioned. The first one let’s students know they are important. The second one creates a classroom environment full of politeness and mutual respect. Finally, encouraging curiosity strengthens investigative skills that will come in extremely handy in the future. Classroom strategies and pedagogy are in constant evolution but you can bet some things will always stay the same. No matter what new innovative theory becomes popular, classrooms will always thrive when there is respect, politeness, and a desire to learn more. It’s up to teachers, students, and parents to make learning worthwhile. Neither can do it on their own. It takes all participants working hand in hand to ensure a classroom is a place of learning and not a place where dreams go to die.