Creating a positive learning environment has always been a motivator for me, looking further into this topic has given me more knowledge on some fundamentals which I hope to utilize in my classroom.
In the article one key statement stood out and made me question why more emphasis isn’t placed on positive learning environments. The statement was “students deserve a positive learning environment.”
After reading that statement I reflected on why this isn’t emphasized more in trades training, my only understanding at this point is that tradesmen do not like dealing with feelings and most trades instructors are ex tradesmen. The article goes on to discuss key points to look at and so I chose to relate my current understanding of those ideas.
Core Values is the first topic, which basically states that there must be a consistency in the values of the teacher. This is part of creating a positive learning environment students feel more comfortable knowing what the instructors deems good and bad, also it gives the student an idea of what ethical behaviors are expected of them.
Ambiance, this pertains to the physical space. If a classroom is filled with distractions and allows the students attention to wonder, the student will not learn. On the opposite side if a class is bare and cold with no decorations it may not be as inviting or create a positive learning atmosphere. There is a balance that must be achieved and must include some reflection on the core values within the setup of the space. A good example of that would be… teamwork is something that is encouraged therefore in that class the seating should be arranged to accommodate that.
Expectations are another important factor and can be simply defined as rules that should be met in the classroom. The article states that these must remain constant and will be more effective if positive reinforcement is used. Ground rules must be set up early to also and this is to avoid any negative interactions which may affect the learning environment.
Relativity is a very big one for me as I always felt distant with teacher I couldn’t relate to. The articles encourage teachers to try and learn new things from the students, my belief is that this will give the teacher an opportunity to engage the student in a different way showing a side of teachers that isn’t often seen. Seeing an instructor or a teacher in a different light may make them more approachable allowing student to open up and feel more confident when dealing with the teacher.