If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”
One of our main tools of operation to keep ourselves and the pulse of our classroom positive is humor. Once you learn the trick to insert humor into your lessons at the right time & in the right context and you get a laugh or two, you can feel yourself relax. Once you relax, your happy mood expands throughout the classroom almost visibly changing bored looks and leaned shoulders into eager learners, who while waiting for your next punchline rise to listen.
Another way to inject positivity is to make this learner feel ‘safe’ as soon as you walk in – I don’t mean that in a witness protection program set of the way but a room wherever the learner does not feel intimidated by your real presence. There’s a thin line between being firm and being scary. Determination is acceptable, often respected by the learner but scary means fear driving a drive between you and your learner. Your positive attitude matters, your words affect, positivity helps the learner develop while negativity crushes.
You have to give them the space to grow, where they feel free to speak up, participate & feel encouraged to be the most beneficial they can be- for you- cause you to appreciate their efforts. They have to feel they matter.
There is no failure. Only feedback!!!!
A positive classroom is only as great as a positive learner. We as teachers require to shed those preconceived notions which hinder your capability to accept the uniqueness of that learner. Listen to your head and heart when dealing with your learners, provide them a chance to show you what they know & can do. Show them that you have their back, are about their side. Students don’t care how much you understand until they know how much you care.
A tool that always injects a positive attitude in the classroom is relatability by a bit of goofiness. I can pretend to make mistakes & that I have found makes the learner to my side. Laugh at yourself once in a while & they will laugh with you, not at you!
Be the first line of protection for each learner. Often in a classroom, there are so many divides created by other learners, so several darts of ridicule being flung back & forth in the garb of “I was joking!” that these dark arrows of humiliation seep within the psyche of the learners and sap up all the positive attitude in this specific classroom which might have been there. Negativity is a two-way conundrum – you can be everyone making fun of the person but in some ways, it’s tiring and depressing.
As a teacher, I am their final line of defense… I have to protect, I have to stress kindness and I have to make all learners feel equal & able to speak freely to me. As their confidence improves so does the positive attitude in the classroom & hence into my teaching.