First and foremost
What's most important to me
I want each child to feel safe, affirmed, and valued. Each child deserves to know that they will be cared for no matter what. My classroom will foster an environment where each child feels accepted for who they are.
Let's get to know each other!
In order to foster an environment where every child feels safe, it's important that we first get to know each other. This starts from the first day and continues to the last day. I love to start the first couple weeks of school with ice breakers, and use of circles throughout the year to get to know each other on both a surface level and deeper level. This in turn creates a classroom community, where each child feels safe, affirmed, valued, and respected by one another.
One of the most important aspects of a child feeling safe is that they know what is expected from them. This is why we set up our class norms together on the first day of school. This makes students more accountable and ensures they know what is expected of them. Along with class norms, we establish classroom routines, which you can learn about more here.
We use mindfulness in the classroom each day to regulate behavior and focus on learning. We begin each day with a mindful moment to start the morning off on the best foot possible. We also have a mindful moment in between transitions like after recess and lunch to help students get back to a state of mind that will help them focus. This is a great article to learn more about how mindfulness can be used in the classroom.
Affirming my learners
Our materials and readings
I strive to have a culturally responsive library of books where every student can see themselves and others in the books they read. If a child is able to relate to the material they are being taught/read, it's more likely to resonate with them. I also strive to make the content I'm teaching relatable to my students.
I intentionally only display materials on my wall that are necessary for learning so my students can decorate our walls with their artwork. In my classroom, the walls are curated to showcase my students' work throughout the year. This not only affirms students, but can also make them feel safe and secure - making the classroom like a home.
Every child deserves to feel valued and loved by their teacher. Making a child feel valued will help them succeed, as their emotional needs are met in the classroom. Each child brings in their own wealth of knowledge and expertise - as a teacher, I aim to see and support each child as an individual with their own specific strengths and needs.