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Establishing a safe and inclusive classroom environment not only supports academic learning and success, but promotes social and emotional well-being, and allows students to discover more about themselves and their relationships with others. Prior to any content-based instruction, a teacher must work to create and establish an inclusive and supportive classroom setting that is flexible, responsive, and accepting of all students. In this preparation for learning, we need to understand that ?our classrooms will be filled with many different personalities, needs, backgrounds, strengths, and obstacles of the students we serve? (Benn, 2018). This understanding will shape our curriculum, lessons, assessments, and instruction and demand that we remain open and willing to make adjustments and changes based on the needs of our students.

Successful teachers are not only knowledgeable of their subject area, but equally as knowledgably of their students, their individual needs, and interests. The combination of which results in a carefully created and established classroom environment with management techniques that are gentle, responsive, inclusive, and effective. ?Everything a teacher does has implications for classroom management, including creating the setting, decorating the room, arranging the chairs, speaking to children and handling their responses, putting routines in place (and then executing, modifying, and reinstituting them), developing rules, and communicating those rules to the students? (Sieberer-Nagler, 2015).

Consistency with classroom policies and procedures and an expectation of respect are some ways teachers can promote safety and security in their classrooms. Students need clear boundaries, rules, and expectations to follow as much as they need opportunities to explore independently and learn from their experiences. When students are given too much freedom in the classroom, it isn?t just academic learning and success that may suffer. ?Clear rules are important for students? academic and social behavior? it is not so good when rules are ambiguous and inconsistent; they need to know what is acceptable and not acceptable behavior? (Sieberer-Nagler, 2015).

There are a variety of ways teachers can monitor and enforce behavioral norms and expectations, including walking around the classroom regularly and communicating that you are observing an acceptable or unacceptable behavior. In addition to these strategies, teachers can gently establish themselves as an authority by modeling the behavior in which they seek. Students are watching and learning from us at all times. Modeling respectful communication skills and practicing active listening helps students to better understand the type of behavior you expect of them in return.

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