My current philosophy about a productive learning environment is one that establishes a space where students feel engaged in the material, have the drive to explore and think critically, feel comfortable to ask questions and have a mutual respect for each other as well as for me. It is an environment that is not static or controlled by an authority figure, but one where the notion of learning is a shared experience and driven by one’s desires to answer the “whys’ and the “hows’ and deciphering how it all fits into the grander picture. Learning should not only be about developing and growing for the benefit of oneself, but how newly gained knowledge and our decisions can benefit society (local and global level) and the sustainability of the natural world.
Strategies to do this would be:
- Challenging curriculum that includes applying concepts to local issues and allowing students to critically think/develop possible solutions to these problems.
- Develop a list of “Classroom Expectations,’ with input from the students. Lab procedures will also be discussed.
- Students will be responsible for completing a 5-10 minute activity at the beginning of each class period which recalls material from previous class.
- Get to know parents- Monthly updates (phone calls) of student’s progress.
- Behavioral Management will be explicitly discussed with students and upheld. Process would go as follows: 1. Student’s name stated with a look (warning), 2. I go to student’s desk and ask them refocus (2nd warning), 3. Call student to my desk and provide punishment (written assignment), 4. Behavior continues on daily basis (call home)
- Continuously put in energy to get to the know more about each student.
- Always be walking around the room- behind desk as little as possible. Include positive reinforcement (good behaviors).
- Classes are wrapped up with announcement of assignment.