What's the climate in your classroom?
Chapters 14 through 18 of Eric Jensen's Poor Student, Rich Teacher is all about secrets to a rich classroom climate mindset. The previous blogs about the poverty brain in our classrooms all intertwine to create a sunny classroom climate. Affirmation, relevancy, engagement, and relationships all develop this mindset. Teachers who create a climate that enriches the brain for not only those in poverty, but all of their students do so intentionally.
CULTURE vs. CLIMATE
First lets look at the differences and connections between culture and climate. CULTURE is what we do and establishes or predicts behaviors. It is the behaviors and character of the class. CLIMATE is the how we feel or mood. The climate effects the culture. Therefore, us as teachers can create the mood (climate) and ultimately develop the culture we desire. The mindset we need to impact (0.80 effect size) our students is one that focusses on what students need to succeed. Must believe that your class is a place from growth and that you will do everything in your power to help your students reach those gutsy goals. It also includes acceptance of mistakes. Not only acceptance but embracing them!
So....how do we create this climate??
*Set expectations/classroom norms
* Create goals/discuss dreams
*Allow for student voice and vision to be heard (chapter 15)
*Foster academic optimism (chapter 16)
In the next two posts, I will go into more detail about voice, vision and optimism.
Questions for us to ponder....
How do you set up your classroom expectations? How does the school set it's norms?
What do you do that creates the climate of your classroom? Greet kids each day, smile....
What is one step this coming year you can take to improve the climate within your classroom?