Whether a bashful new student or social-butterfly, you want your daily experiences in class to be an enjoyable one. It can be an intimidating task to know everyone and encourage all to enjoy class time as much as you. But truth be told, it’s as easy as pie!
Know who they are
Familiarize yourself with everyone! If you crave a great class period, make connections with those around you. When you learn your classmates’ first names they’ll have an identity rather than be just a face in the crowd. Don’t be afraid to provide facts about yourself as well. They’ll know you better and therefore will feel safe sharing things about themselves. They’ll be encouraged to be open and cheerful while in your presence.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself your peers, stay involved. This means that you talk to them prior to and after class. When there’s partner work, don’t stick to just one person, but mix it up. The variety of buddies will give you a chance to interact with everyone. During partner work, make working lively by sharing music you enjoy or sharing doodles. You can even talk about abstract things. However, doing these things should have relevance to the topic you guys are working on together and can be repeated appropriately back to class if necessary.
Besides talking to your classmates, be sure to listen to them! If you talk but don’t listen, your classmates will feel discouraged to communicate with you. They’ll be convinced that their words are a passing wind to you—that you aren’t taking them seriously. So, be sure to listen with an open mind and heart!
The next thing you want to do is encourage a safe environment. Don’t let your fellow classmates be put down by others or by themselves. If you see someone being picked on, step in and help them. As a result, the classmate being nitpicked will feel safer in the classroom. Plus, the bully may realize that their actions are inappropriate. When they realize what they had done was wrong, they’ll be more conscious of mean behavior and become a kinder person. They may look at you as an example of what it means to be kind to others.
Other than stopping bullies, make a point to encourage your classmates. Whether your peer answers a question right or wrong, entice them to continue being interactive in class. When your classmates know they have a support system when trying to learn, they’re less likely to be source of negativity in the classroom.
Creating a happy environment for yourself and your classmates is easier than it appears. Plus, a fun task to take on. Even if you feel like there hasn’t been progress in creating the positive environment you desire, keep trying! It takes time to see notable change in the atmosphere—good things just don’t happen overnight. Connect with us and share how you create a positive and fun environment in your classroom. We want to encourage you to keep going!