Why is an Optimal Learning Environment essential?
A mutual respect between teacher and student must be created to ensure that there is an opportunity for optimal learning. If a student fears the teacher, he or she may be attentive in the classroom out of respect or to not get scolded. But if they feel ‘unsafe’ or ‘not comfortable’, that creates an issue for the child.
For learning to happen, or if we want students to become leaders and grow within our classrooms, the teacher and students must mutually create that environment. Below are a few pointers that we should keep in mind for the conditions to be created for optimal learning.
Safety is prime
This factor is of utmost importance for kids to succeed in class. Safety is not about feeling safe from getting emotionally or physically hurt. The environment should be safe enough for kids to make mistakes, to share their ideas and not feel ashamed. Students must be able to trust their teacher enough to not hide themselves or their thoughts. This is very important for mental growth.
Students are people first
A child will not succeed in the classroom if they are starving. They will also not do well if they are dealing with tragedy in their lives. Take care of them and show them that you care about their personal well being. Ask them about what happened if they are not performing well or behaving normally. Let them share their issues. You never know what they are dealing with outside of school.
Fun in important too
If you enjoy what you do, have a sense of humour, and can laugh in your environment, you will do better. This has been proved time and again. This applies for both the teacher and the student in a classroom. Allow them to have fun, but in a controlled way. Tell them it is their responsibility to behave if they want to enjoy. This little enjoyment time will also lead to an attentive classroom in study time.
Respect their Individual Pace
Kids need to have the opportunity to show their understanding in a way that is meaningful and relevant to them. Having one way to get to the same destination is not fair and is not differentiating learning for each child. Each student takes different time for learning but if they get to the same level of understanding eventually, you have gave them the opportunity to be successful.
Let them Lead
To be a leader does not mean that students are the most popular. It simply can mean that they have the opportunity to show leadership in areas they excel and are passionate in. As educators, you have to give each student an opportunity to find out if they can be a leader and show their skills. After all, these minds are the future of the world.
It is essential as administrators that we not only work to provide these opportunities for students, but also for the staff. The optimal learning environment can be implemented in classrooms, workplaces, and even at home. Create this for everyone and you will be amazed at how people flourish.
This article is inspired by and contains excerpts from Connected Principals website. Read the original here.