Friday, March 4, 2011

Make your classroom environment student-centered.

Many teachers think the classroom is their domain. That they are the king or queen of their students. Teachers make the rules, do the lessons, and students must follow. The problem with this is that it does not create a very positive learning experience. You want students to learn, but retain that learning in a positive light. The more of an overlord you are, the more students will think of learning as a chore, not a right, nor a step to a better life.

Imagine you are a student in your classroom. How would you like to be treated? What kind of teaching style would you appreciate? How fair do you think the teacher should be?

Teachers must incorporate these concerns into their classroom.

First, it is a student's right that they have a chance to pass the class. When doing lessons, quizzes, and tests, you must be sure that all students have an equal opportunity to score the minimum for a passing grade. A and B students go the extra mile. If you are not doing lessons and instructing in such a way that all students can handle basic concepts, you need to change. If your tests are geared for advanced students, and basic students will have a tough time to pass, you need to rethink the test.

Between 60 and 70% of the questions should be basic or require little extra thought. Each student has a right to expect that they should pass the class. You can then ask more advanced and very advanced questions for the A and B students. Make your grades mean something. You must be fair.

Notice how the fairness goes to the top students as well? If all of your questions are easy, so that all have a chance at an A, then what does an A mean? Nothing. You need to be able to reward your advanced students. Being fair is one of the most important things a teacher can do.

Another simple thing that teachers can do to create a more student-centered classroom, is to have a small questionnaire at the end of the week for suggestions. Yes, they can be anonymous. Just 2 or 3 questions are enough. Like,

What did the teacher do that was effective?
What could the teacher have done that would have been better?

Having a student-centered classroom can be beneficial for classroom discipline.

>>Read teaching tips on having a positive classroom.

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