Every teacher strives for a happy classroom. But how does a school achieve this without compromising students' academic performance and personal development of students? How do you define happiness and learning? Read on to learn tips on how to create a happy classroom environment.
To create a happy classroom environment, three things must exist:
- Students need to feel safe
- Students need to feel valued
- Students need to be provided with an opportunity to be successful
For students to be safe in the classroom, there must be an element of control. The teacher must introduce procedures and policies that promote physical, social and emotional safety. Be firm and honest. Empower students to have a voice in their classroom and listen and respect their feelings. Modelling behavior you want to see in your students will provide them with a good role model they will be inspired to follow.
Let students feel safe to express their feelings and personalities. This starts by developing a positive relationship with your students. If they act up, they will respect your calm yet respectful voice to realign their behavior with the classroom expectations. One way to do this is to try talking to the student one-on-one. Students of all ages feel embarrassed and shy, so speaking with a student in public only aggravates the situation as they feel humiliated. Show care by expressing interest in all students in the class. Doing this will help create a positive relationship where they will listen to what you say, making the year go a lot smoother.
Teachers should do what they can to ensure students see success in their academics. Using technology and collaboration when instructing students will help students of all learning styles succeed. Define clear expectations and provide constructive feedback on assignments and take-home projects. Don’t forget to praise students for their achievements.
Tips For Creating A Positive and Inclusive School Culture
1. Take time and make an effort to know your students.
By getting to know your students better, you can create a comfortable learning enrichment environment and help create a compassionate community in the classroom. By getting to know every student, you can understand their individual needs and provide support to help them grow, learn and develop.
2. Humor can be an essential tool.
When using humor with your students, such as an anecdote, a funny story, an unforgettable, or even a humiliating experience, students will bond with their classmates and teacher. Make it relatable, and certainly don’t take yourself too seriously. Students will become more interested in a class by making it relatable to real-life situations no matter what topic you teach.
3. Praise should never be underestimated.
Tell children when they’ve done a good job on something. Saying “Well done” to recognize students significantly impacts their mood and motivation. Don’t be afraid to announce a student's success to their peers. Focus on good behavior instead of emphasizing what they did wrong. Students love this attention and will work hard to receive it.
4. Choices create opportunities for happy students and happy teachers.
In classrooms, teachers set the rules and expectations, deciding how things should be inside the school. Students are limited in what they can choose for themselves. Give students choices, enable their voices to be heard, and be happy. Students appreciate independence, allowing teachers to show mutual trust from the get-go or when earned.
5. Offer playtime and let students express themselves freely.
Playtime plays an essential role in the development of a child. Playtime helps students grow mentally, socially and emotionally. It is an integral part of social-and-emotional learning (SEL). Games let students express themselves creatively and freely as it allows them to try new things and teaches them how to communicate with others. But don’t offer playtime, every time. Use it sparingly, as a reward or to try new things. Knowing the right time to play is a robust tool in a teacher's tool belt.
6. Students need time to rest.
Students learn best when they have had opportunities to focus on learning and pause between. There is proven success when students have the chance to pause, refocus and come back re-engaged. This prevents them from having mental burnout and lets the information learned from the teacher sink in, and students can reflect during this time. By offering students some free time after each lesson, teachers and parents can see a big difference.
7. Let the students socialize.
Allow students to interact with their classmates. Doing this will create a positive atmosphere in the classroom and halls. Students are happy when they socialize on things that aren’t school-related and can help them find new friends, which is instrumental in their enjoyment of school. Either before or after lessons, give students time to connect with their friends.
Teachers who can strike a balance between fun and work will achieve better results for their students. Offer classroom activities that make students feel confident, appreciated, and successful, and the result is that students will be happier.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is a small nonprofit that invests our resources into making kindness the norm. They have an assortment of different materials, including free posters and curriculum/lesson plans for teachers on their website. Here are some digital signage templates that update automatically and can motivate and inspire students to feel seen and encourage others to be heard:
2021-22 Kindness Calendar
Make kindness the norm with this auto-updating template, featuring an encouraging act of kindness for students to act upon each and every day of the school year.
Random Acts of Kindness Day
Learn more about the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation while spreading kindness using this calendar day template.
Include Don’t Exclude
Accept and respect people of all abilities and backgrounds with this template.
One Kind Word
Use words like Love, Respect, Inclusion, Kindness and the actions that follow to change someone’s entire day with this template.
Motivate students with this auto-updating template featuring quotes, encouraging and uplifting words.
Be Positive, Be Inclusive
Be kind to others and promote the welcoming of others with this template.
- Learn more about Social and Emotional Learning & STEM in the 21st Century Classroom
- Teaching Digital Citizenship in Schools to Prevent Cyberbullying
- Why School Districts Should Focus On Social Emotional Learning in Classrooms