Positive Class Room Environment
Positive Classroom Environment
This report is about building class room environment for school students. In addition to the general concepts about class room environment, the report focuses on a particular issue and presents its solutions in the light of concepts and practices prevailing in the literature of building class room environment.
There is a scenario of school class consisting of students who age is between 12-14 years. It is French class, to be held once a week for 35 minutes. The school administration has issued a plan of contents to be covered in each period. The teacher needs to cover that contents plan effectively within the time.
The behaviour of students is not much learning oriented. They put the teacher to task and give him tough time in managing class and covering the course contents. In addition to behavioural problems, they also lack in capabilities to learn quickly. Hence the teacher needs to put in extra effort in managing the class. The teacher does not know how to control the students so that win-win condition is achieved.
Hence, the issue is threefold;
Students’ learning capability is low.
Students’ attitude is problematic.
The teacher is in a fix how to cover course contents.
The report gives an idea about solution to the mentioned issue. It is a detailed report and covers many aspects related to the mentioned issue.
Building Positive Classroom Environment
Positive classroom environment is crucial for students’ learning, teacher’s performance and institute’s image. Knowledge is the core element whose transfer to student’s mind is the basic objective of school and any other educational institute. It is, therefore, utmost important that every step should be taken that can make this process easy and efficient. The more pleasant, a class room environment is, the better it is for students, teachers and the overall institute.
It is broad daylight that a class consists of many students who may differ in perceptions, backgrounds, learning abilities and general aptitude. The teacher cannot treat each of the students individually though each of them considers his actions as target to him only. The responsibility of teacher increases manifold when he has to ensure that each student is satisfied with the way he is teaching him and learns whatever is taught in the class.
If the class room environment is positive, the teachers and students can make up the deficiency found in each other’s role. For example, if a student is absent from school and have missed the lecture, the supportive climate will compel him to learn that lecture with the help of some other student. If a teacher is absent, the students may have zest to see what the next topic is about and they explore it on their own. It happens most commonly in story books that students are enthusiastic about next story or end of the present story. The process of learning may not hamper if there is any missed either by student or the teacher.
Initial Education and Positive Class Room Environment
In the school days, kids are sensitive about them and notice things quickly. They are in the foundation years of their learning and it is quite possible that this learning experience will live them for their whole life. At times, the thirst for learning more and acquiring more knowledge is also developed during this period. If the teacher is capable enough to drive the interest of students towards his subject, the student may most likely adopt the same subject as his profession. It can also happen that the energy lost in school years may be too difficult to restore at later stages.
It is, therefore, highly recommended in literature and practices that class room environment should be like the supporting the purpose of education imparting and learning. Both teachers and students should be motivated to perform their duties, and perform them willingly. The success of teacher is determined by delivery of students. It may appear little strange at a glance, but it is true. If the students are not happy and giving the teacher tough time, it is obvious that the teacher has not clearly analysed the class to treat them accordingly.
At the initial stages, it is the responsibility of teachers to make the students understand how to learn and what is the positive class room environment. The kids cannot comprehend it themselves. For them, joining school is a change in life and most of them are not ready for it. Even at the age of 12-14 years, when they have got much familiarity with the school, they always need guidance from the teachers to explain them the school policies and requirement to implement them. It happens most commonly that the growing students are curious and as a lot of questions. It is responsibility of a teacher to address their each and every question in a manner that no one feels ignored and the answer is satiable also. There can be many irrelevant and stupid questions as well, but it is the same the students are at school to learn i.e. which question is stupid and which must be answered.
Since there is bog gap between the ages of teachers and students at school, the expectations from school teachers are higher than the ones formed at any other level. Many responsibilities fall in their domain and their level of performance is achieved by the satisfaction and learning curve of the students. No educational institute can rank a teacher high who is not in the good books of students and whose students know nothing about the subject taught by him.
Mediating Factors related to the Mentioned Issue
If the mentioned problem of teaching French class is carefully analysed, many new aspects are revealed which are invisible at a glance. As mentioned earlier, the course contents are finalised by the administration and the teacher plays the role of communicating those contents to the students. The teacher is having issues is performing his job successfully. There are few students who are problematic hence driving total productivity as low.
There is a conflict of interest. The administration wants to get the course contents absorbed by students. In other words, it wants the students to learn French language. It adds to the feathers in the cap of school administration that its students can communicate in French so well. It is a matter of repute. French is not the official language of the school, nor is it compulsory to teach. The administration has started it as an additional language hence the number of classes is limited to one per week that too, with the duration of 35 minutes only.
In order to teach the students learn French in this small class, the teacher needs highly supportive environment so that students focus all their energies on learning French. He wants the students to learn French with minimum effort at his side. But it is not the case for students. They may not take interest in the course and pay no heed to learn an additional language. This is the reason, they try to make fun and play around in the class.
The responsibility of resolving this conflict of interest between the students and teacher and between administration and students is assigned to the teacher. This section elaborates various factors that are giving birth to this conflict and are important to consider for its resolution.
There are many personal factors which are responsible for this conflict. Below is the description of these factors.
Students have different personalities and backgrounds. Their interest in learning French language is also different. Learning language is a tedious and boring job as grammar, pronunciation and spellings are involved. It is difficult to take interest in the complex rules of language formation. Hence, students are reluctant to learn it with zeal and zest.
The teacher may be proficient in French language, hence has been appointed by the administration to transfer this knowledge to the students. The teacher is highly experienced and may have taught many students before. He may have confidence to think to that he has taught so many students successfully, and if these students are lacking behind, it is because, they themselves do not have the capability.
The administration has given one period to French class while other subjects have longer durations and multiple periods. This situation gives an obvious clarification to the students that this course is not important. Furthermore, as they already assume language subject as boring, single class per week support their assumption that it is not an important class.
The common perception by the teacher in this situation is; he is not responsible for the failure of students as he has no time to develop affiliation with the students. The students are not used to his class and bear with him only one in a week. If the administration increases the frequency of his class, it is quite possible that he develops friendly terms with the students and they start taking interest in the class room lectures.
Keeping in view the present scenario, when he has been bounded with the responsibility of covering specific course content in every class, he is in a fix whether to create interest of the students or teach the course contents.
With the passage of time, the information transformation becomes difficult. The experienced teachers are more commonly known to have the same style over and over which becomes mechanised and students lose the interest. The teacher needs to understand that every class is a new instance and every student is a new experience. If they keep of producing what they have crammed by virtue of experience and do not add any versatility in their style, the students are bound to lose interest.
The administration may have the viewpoint that it has hired an experienced teacher and the failure to produce good results by the students can be attributed to the failure of students only. But it is not the case. The failure of students is the failure of every other stake holder, be it teachers, school administration or ministry of education which issues necessary directives to promote quality education in the country.
As mentioned earlier, the teacher may have many years of experience and fluency in French language, yet teaching to a different class is a different experience whose success is not guaranteed by long experience of language fluency. The teacher need practical exposure to the psychology of students, need to learn how to create interest in a boring subject and how to make the students wait for the next class when one is over.
Plan of Action to Resolve the Conflict
The mentioned conflict is important to be resolved so that school can save its image, the teacher can show good performance and the students can learn French language. As evident from the previous section, there is conflict of interest which is leading to poor results for all stakeholders. In order to resolve the conflict, action plan is given below.
The teacher should discuss the issue of class duration and class frequency with the administration so that required level of attention can be made sure for teacher and students as well.
Either the subject be made optional to the students and only willingly students are allowed to attend it or it is made compulsory for every student to score average marks in it.
The administration and teacher should collectively devise effective use of power lying in their hands. There can be certain reward for the bright students in the class so that they are motivated to learn it. There can also be punishment for failing students so that they take the course seriously.
There should be a unique activity in every class and the learning outcome of that activity must be evaluated in the same class as well. The evaluation can be made in the next class also so that students come prepared for the test. The constant alert on the minds of students may lead to favourable results.
Student participation must be increased in the class (Chris, 1995). It will enhance the level of competition and students may struggle to save themselves from insult in the class.
Likely Outcome of Plan of Action
The above mentioned plan of action gives general guidelines about improving the class performance and resolving the conflict. Any of them can be taken in serious consideration before finalising its implementation. It is also possible that all of them are embedded in the action plan to determine its effectiveness level.
It appear little difficult to increase the class frequency or duration. It is because, it will have impact on other classes and it is quite possible that the performance of that vary class being affected. Since these are suggestions whose outcome may or may not be favourable, it is not wise to disturb a set class for an experiment. However, if there are issues with frequency and duration of other class, like the one has loner duration or high frequency which course contents can be covered in less time as well, it is advisable to adjust French class by amending the other one.
The suggestion to make the subject optional may also fall beyond the domain of school administration. It may be the case that local or government authority has issued directives to teach French in all the schools. Keeping in view its efficacy, it is also possible that the authority has suggested one class per week and criteria to pass the subject is kept lenient. If this is the case, the teacher and administration are helpless in implementing this option as well. Neither they can make the course optional nor change its passing criteria.
Use of reward and coercive power seems applicable but a difficult solution. It is because; the coercive power may increase the dissatisfaction level of the students. It will also create a conflict with interest of local authority which has given least importance to the subject. Punishing students for such a course may lead to bad name for the school and there is no possibility that student’s performance will be enhanced.
Use of reward power is an applicable solution if the administration is willing to set a reward which can motivate the students to learn French. However, the possible drawback associated with this option is of budget approvals if reward is financial. If it is an intangible reward, the suggestion must be implemented promptly.
Last two suggestions of conducting a unique activity in every class and increasing students’ participation seem to be the most suitable options. However, it is important to mention at this stage that these suggestions fall in the domain of teacher and the administration may not have a role in it. These two suggestions call for change in teacher’s attitude. It is most recommended that administration support the teacher up to maximum possible extent and if there is a need of any training activity or extra gadgets in class room, it should be hesitate to ensure their provision.
The best possible results can be achieved by implementing the last two suggestions. It is because, these suggestion focus on creating interest of students in a positive manner. It is quite possible that the success of all other classes lie in the same practice. It is an assumption in this paper that one of the reasons of lack of performance is less frequency and duration of class. The same issues can arise in any other class which has loner duration and higher frequency. The key to long-term achievement is to create positive interest in the subject and teaching style so that students are attracted to attend that course taught by a particular teacher.
Analysis of Solution
It may appear too difficult for a teacher to accept that his teaching method is not well enough to lead to positive results in the class, if nay action plan is implemented, which requires the teacher to change his behaviour, the dissatisfaction level of teacher is likely to rise. But as mentioned earlier, that in school, students are too young to look at the issue from various perspectives and they are not the better decision makers. There is no responsibility assign to them to take interest in the class. It is the duty of teacher to create interest in the subject, and if any change is needed in the present state of affairs that is closely related to the performance of students the teacher has to take a step ahead (Partin, 2009).
It is the duty of administration to plan this change as beautifully that it does not hurt the ego of teacher (Rodgers, 2011). Likewise it does not give and point of undue rise to the students that the teacher has been trained to teach them. The training can be arranged in informal session by the teachers who have taught these students earlier. As mentioned previously, the students may have same attitude in other classes with other teachers as well. It is important to see how the class performs with other teachers before finalising any plan of training for the teacher.
It is also possible that all the teachers of that particular class sit together to discuss their experience in that class. If they have similar experience, it is quite advisable that a plan for that class is devised. It is also possible that the all the teachers have issues with few students only and these few students are called in the meeting to mend their ways. The school always has the option of suspending the students from any class or expelling them once for all. One coercive action taken against a limited number of students may give all the students a warning to abide by the rules of school and show the required level of performance.
It is a common saying that birds of a feather flock together. As there are many students in a class, all are influenced by each other. It is no surprise to say that attitude of students is different in a class from the one which is depicted by them when they are alone. Group psyche changes the performance and it happens most often that when the folks are separated, positive results are generated. In this connection, it is also advisable to change the sitting arrangement of students so that they sit with students whom they are not friends with (Wolfgang, 2009). A dull student can be accompanied by an intelligent student so that he gets motivation. The intelligent student may not join his mischievous acts and peace in class can be maintained.
An intelligent student can be made mentor for a dull student. The teacher can make them friends and request the intelligent student to spare some time for him so that his interest can be created in studies.
In addition to the class room environment, the importance of educational supportive culture at homes is also mandatory. If the family members take into the proper consideration the performance of their kids, and stay connected with the teacher to get updates about performance and behaviour, they can together design a plan to improve the kids.
School is an important place in the lives kids where they start their process of formal education. They do not only learn few terms and words from the teachers and fellow students. They rather learn how to have a pleasant personality, what attitude is more suitable in life and what behaviour leads to positive outcomes. It is not the case that students go to school for few hours and then come back home spending all day there in the influence of parents and siblings. The few hours spent at school are more influential for kids as they provide him the chance to come out of his daily routine and observe, learn and experience something new.
This is the reason; school is considered the second home of the kids. However, the term second must be considered. The first home remains with the actual place where kids are brought up and get social, moral and financial support. The responsibility of effective performance lies in the domain of both parents and teachers. They should cooperate with each other for better development of their kids. On the other hand, when students grow, they need to realise their responsibilities as well. The parents and teachers cannot hold the hands of kids for good. Their role is to provide a solid foundation on which character of student is build. Their job is to give the direction and finding best possible way towards the direction is the duty of student himself. There comes a time, when students need to realise that they are grown up and accept the responsibilities to fulfil them with honesty, integrity and passion.
The kids of today are teachers and parents of tomorrow. The right thought must be enacted at tight time so that maximum positive results can be produced.
Chris, K., 1995. Essential Teaching Skills, 2nd edition. USA: Stanley Thornes (Publishers) Ltd.
Partin, R, L., 2009. The classroom teacher’s survival guide: practical strategies, management techniques and reproducible for new and experienced teachers. San Francisco, Calif.:Jossey-Bass
Rodgers, B., 2011. Classroom behaviour: a practical guide to effective teaching, behaviour management and colleague support.3rd Ed, London: Paul Chapman Education publishing.
Wolfgang, C.H. 2009. Solving discipline and classroom management problems: methods and models for today’s teachers. 7th Ed Hobken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons
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