It’s here, the start of another school year. Our halls and classroom will soon be filled a variety of students possessing a variety of needs.
Last week, Pine Creek High School’s new Mission Statement was revealed, opening the door for our next steps forward. Part of the Mission Statement speaks of “providing a safe and welcoming learning community.” Have you thought about how you might make that happen in your classroom? What would that look like? What would that feel like?
The beginning of the school year is the perfect time to begin making the connections necessary to foster that safe and welcoming environment. Wes Kieschnick, author of Bold School, says that “on the first day of school, if you spend more time talking about rules than connecting with kids, you’ll spend more of your year enforcing those rules than teaching” (Kieschnick). Those connections are a vital ingredient in increasing student achievement (Richman) as well as building the trust needed to make mistakes and ask for help (Hattie, 2012, as cited in Richman).
How are you going to begin this year? How are you going to make those connections with your students? Take the time to make these connections. Don’t lose this opportunity. Your syllabus can wait. Model the behavior and relationships you want in your class. Take the time.
Resources: Safe and Supportive Learning Environments
- 5 Ways to Build a Supportive Learning Environment in Your Classroom
- 20 Tips for Creating a Safe Learning Environment
- Create a Supportive Environment for All
- Creating a Safe and Supportive Learning Environment, Literacy Online
- Creating a Welcoming and Intellectually Challenging Classroom
- Every Child Learning: Safe and Supportive Schools
Resources: Activities to build a safe, supportive learning environment
- 10 Team-Building Games For The First Day of Class
- Classroom Activities to Build a Positive Environment
- Team Builder & Icebreakers: Techniques for Success
- Team Building, Adlai Stevenson High School
- Team-Building Activities for High School Students
- Team Building Activities For Teens: A Complete Guide
- Are You Really Connecting with your Students
- Building Relationships with Students
- Making Connections
- Hattie, John. Visible Learning.
- Kieschnick, Wes. Bold School.