My personal philosophy on creating a productive learning environment in my classroom for my students is pretty simple: I believe highly in creating a place where students are comfortable to learn and successful at it. I also believe firmly that in order to achieve a high level of production in a successful learning environment, classroom management must be taken seriously and considered thoroughly.
In my observations so far this semester, I’ve picked up several strategies of classroom management that I see working to establish a productive learning environment. For example, my mentor teacher gives something she calls “love” to students who contribute something outstanding to classroom discussion. The “love” she gives is simply a smiley face drawn on the board with the student’s name and hearts and stars drawn around it. She generally causes a bit of a ruckus and gets excited for the student she’s giving “love” to, which makes the student proud and the rest of the class a bit envious. While the “love” she gives them isn’t necessarily tangible (though a lot of students tend to take selfies with their “love”), the idea is something that helps regulate classroom management while urging students to up their productivity. Getting “love” from the teacher is something every student strives for, and when one of their peers gets it, you can see the rest of them buckling down to hopefully earn their own “love.”
This example is something so simple, and arguably silly, but it’s very effective. I’ve seen this simple strategy in classroom management up the success in the classroom as well as strengthen the productivity of each student.
It’s comforting to know, I think, that something so simple can be so influential in the classroom because it reminds me that I have the ability to shape how successful my classroom is with very basic measures.