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What does it take to create a safe learning environment? Trust, but not just in the teacher in your peers, too, creating a community in your classroom. That involves a lot more than you might think. When I was doing the research, I came across an article from edutopia.org by Rebecca Alber (2015) titled 20 ?Tips for Creating a Safe Learning Environment?, the link is posted below for those interested. After reading through all the tips, I realized that you need to be human with your kids. When students see you as both a teacher and a confidant, they feel safe. My second takeaway from the article was to make sure students own their classroom. If they feel like the classroom is theirs, they will take care of it and feel a part of the classroom and the community.
As an educator, I make sure I do not smile until November to create order in my classes; not really. However, I am sure a good number of you have probably heard that at some point in time. To truly establish authority in a classroom, at least for me, you must create and abide by the rules you make, you must be consistent. Some teachers may use a point system as both punitive and non-punitive, though this was not really plausible in my college classes. Most of my students were very respectful, however every now and then I would need to take percentages off for late assignments (mostly when I knew the excuse was not a real excuse, you know what I mean). Another important element, from this week?s readings, was creating a community, which was also mentioned earlier in my post. Where there is mutual respect for each other, there is participation, trust, and safety. This I believe goes hand in hand with supporting positive behavior. When you create a community, members of that community want to interact in a positive manner. Positivity goes a long way in building a safe and fun classroom.