While creating a productive classroom will always be the end goal there is a lot of middle ground that will need to be established prior to a ‘safe and engaging learning environment’. While students will attempt to control how the classroom interacts it is our job to create and maintain the environment throughout the classroom.
I work as a substitute teacher throughout the Fairbanks North Star Borough, and going into many different classroom I am able to see how teachers handle the troublesome students. Some leave notes requiring special attention to special students while some leave no notes and lump a whole class together as difficult to handle. Ive noticed that teachers whom continuously keep their students engaged are the classes that I have less trouble in. For example, I substituted for a 6th/7th grade math class in North Pole Middle and the teacher left them with worksheets as an activity. So I let the first class do the worksheet inside their groups of four such like the teacher said, but i noticed that the children continuously were off task or complaining that they already learned this. So I switched things up a bit though the second period, I taught a lesson alongside the worksheet and created a relay game for the students. While they already knew the material the use of the relay game was able to help the students with practice the material.
This example shows that in order to provide the students with a safe and engaging environment as teachers we must develop lessons and materials in order to progress the students. Teaching the same lesson over and over again just with different worksheets or lectures is not going to keep the students engaged which will lead them to causing trouble, I mean they are kids after all. By using these methods the children will see that they are able to grasp the material which will boost self confidence and in term create the want or need to develop knowledge throughout the classroom.
All of this is also shown through the two articles, What I Wish My Professors Had Told Me and Let Care Shine Through. The two articles help show how creating an engaging classroom will help not only your students but you as well. By showing the kids that you enjoy teaching them and that your respect them as individuals the students will want to hear what you have to say. Some students will take longer or more attention than others, but putting your best foot forward everyday and taking even a couple extra minutes in order to keep those students engaged will progress than and help you to not have a horrible experience through the classroom.