Classroom all children feel appreciated for their work.

Classroom
environment directly links to behaviour, the reason being is that if the
classroom environment is positive, respectful and enjoyable, there would be
less behaviour issues. The Physical environment of a classroom is vital as this
is the most obvious when walking into a classroom. Working walls and display
create a positive classroom environment, producing a welcoming and stimulating
atmosphere.Working walls provide the
class with effective independent learning that children can use and relate to (Appendix
2). In specific terms it is “the public
display of the learning process and evolves as each day progresses” (Claire
Slade, 2014-15).Working walls are ‘not meant to be tidy’ as they evolve
frequently, it is a way in which children express their ideas, thoughts and for
the teacher to cover the key subject knowledge. This allows children to have
some form of ‘support in independent
learning and writing’, ‘support whole class and guided group teaching’ and
‘celebrate success in Mathematics and Literacy’. Displays are also essential,
particularly when children’s work and photographs of children are included.
This creates an inclusive environment as all children feel appreciated for
their work. Working walls include: objectives, targets, Vocabulary, and much
more to give children the assistance they need yet allowing them to think on
their own, this creates an effective learning environment. Knowledge of the
Reptilian brain can be used to create a positive learning environment through
the use of bright colours in displays, resulting in stress being reduced as
well as creating a cheerful and optimistic learning environment (Appendix 2).

In my placement I was able to observe the physical Classroom
environment. As soon as I walked into the classroom, I saw bright colours such
as blue, yellow and green which immediately grabbed my attention and created an
inviting and stimulating atmosphere.
This is evidence of the Teacher Standard
(DfE, 2011) one, which emphasizes ‘establish
a safe and stimulating environment for pupils’ as children feel a sense of empowerment, identity and
belonging through photographs and work being presented on the walls (Appendix
2).There is a Mathematics working wall that presents three different ways of
working out subtraction: Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract, this was based on
the learning done that week. The English working wall guides children to be
able to write a story, this working wall is interactive as children write on a
post-it note what they believe consists of a fascinating story. There are
displays of children’s work in the classroom which makes children feel part of
a community hence creating unity in the classroom. However, not all children’s
work are displayed which means that those that don’t would feel left out and
may lead to lower self-esteem.

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On the other hand the school received a good comment by Ofsted,
2015 in terms of environment stating “Adults
provide a caring and nurturing environment”, which means children
feel safe. The reading corner has cushions which creates a comfortable learning
environment that children use frequently, it also makes them feel at home,
meaning they work to the best of their ability (Appendix 2) “Plants,
soft chairs, rugs, and pillows can help to add warmth and comfort to a class
environment” (Rutter, Maughan, Mortimore, & Ouston,
1979,Cited by Bucholz and Sheffler, 2009).I witnessed the tables are arranged
in circles which I found to be an negative and positive , it is effective for
learning and creating a collaborative learning environment (Appendix 2).
However, “Earlier studies show that
teachers tend to direct more questions to students seated in the front rows of
the classroom” (Juhary, 2012; Moore & Glynn, 1984, cited by Ngware.W et
al, 2013). This creates a divided classroom of the front half and the back half
creating an alienated classroom.

 

The
classroom environment is not just about the physical aspect but also emotional.
The teacher is required to create a warm and friendly environment in which
children feel comfortable to share their thoughts and emotions. We can use the
knowledge of the Limbic system to create an optimistic classroom environment (Appendix
2).The use of humour is great in class to reduce the stress level of students
and create a positive relationship with the teacher ,therefore creating better
outcomes for children. Various researchers, have written about the harmful
effects of anxiety on students’ aptitude to study, using humour helps to relax
students (British Council, “sense of Humour”, 2004).Humour also allows children
to see the fun side to the teacher and learning, meaning they will more likely
be able to connect and interact with the teacher more frequently. The use of
music is also another way of creating a calming learning environment for
children. “The simple act of
listening to music while in class can help improve students’ memory and
learning capability” (University of Helsinki, 2005), this shows that music has
a great impact on learning particularly when it comes to children retaining
information.

 

In placement, I was able to witness the use of humour,
the teacher would constantly joke with the children (Appendix 2). Children
found this to be a way of building a good relationship with the teacher as well
as getting to know the teacher as a person. The teacher would make funny
comments such as “you silly sausages”, this links to the “sense of humour”
article as children feel more relaxed when the teacher jokes around with the
creating a relaxed environment. This is a method that I would use in my future
teaching practice, as it greatly impacts the children’s learning positively
allowing them to attain information. This is also evidence of Teacher standard
(DfE, 2011) two, the reason being is that the teacher is aware of how children
learn and incorporate this into learning. The teacher also uses music during
reading, to settle and calm the children after lunch, this is a great technique
as it instantly produces a relaxed environment which maximizes learning. In the
morning when the teacher takes the register, children answer ‘hello’ in
whatever language they want. This is makes children comfortable in class to
bring a bit of their home language and culture to school. This also allows
children to embrace each other and develop good relationships which will in
turn better their learning. According to the Ofsted report, 2015 “The
cultural diversity of the school is celebrated, resulting in a very harmonious
community”. This is something I
would definitely include in my future teaching practice as it adds an element
of community creating a positive learning environment, the reason being children
learn languages subject knowledge .

The respectful environment is essential for “students to
feel respected and feel their contributions matter” (Ministry of Education,
2016).During my placement I saw that all the children knew each other well and
boys and girls felt comfortable to sit together by choice. Additionally, this
has a positive impact on learning as all children felt comfortable to share
their ideas and thoughts. They developed excellent communication and listening skills,
creating better outcomes for children. All children also had a role in the
classroom which made them feel respected. At the end of the day the teacher
would spend ten minutes allowing the children to ask each other questions to
get to know each other e.g.
“what are your hobbies” as well as questions to reflect on what went well that
day and how they can improve themselves. In my future practice I would include
this activity to ensure a positive classroom environment for the children and
the teacher to reflect on their own actions, to see what improvements they can make.
The school policy (2016) states “pupils must feel safe, secure
and happy within their school environment”, this implies that the school
environment has a direct correlation to the way children feel which impacts
behaviour as “good attitudes and behaviour contribute to a successful life”.

 

To
conclude, I believe that at the first meeting teachers must express the rules
and values to children effectively. Susan Davies mentions bad behaviour should
never go unnoticed as children would get in to a habit. I would praise children
more than I criticise to allow a boost of self-esteem and develop good
teacher-student relationships, this produces the best outcomes for children
(Davies, 2006 pg.130) (Appendix 2). I would also make an effort to get to know
the children’s interests so that I may adapt the teaching to incorporate these
elements, consequently children would be engaged in lessons resulting in less
disruptive behaviour. Rewards and sanctions are essential as many children are
motivated extrinsically, therefore I would ensure that the rewards are age
suitable, making children more determined to achieve their goals. If the
behaviour of the class is good, this would lead to a positive learning environment.
From my placement I was able to get an insight into an effective classroom
environment full of light and bright colours. In my future teaching practice I
would make sure that my classroom is physically and emotionally positive. I
would ensure that all children feel excited to come to school every day by
creating an inclusive environment where all children regardless of race,
disability and gender feel respected and valued. I would ensure I meet the
seventh Teacher standards (DfE, 2011) just
like the teacher at placement who “manages behaviour effectively to ensure a
good and safe learning environment”. In the book ‘The tipping point’ Malcom
Gladwell outlines the ‘Broken window Theory’. The message here is that it is
not the broken glass that is important but the message it portrays. Therefore,
keeping my class tidy would give an impression that I am an organised teacher
who truly cares about the Classroom and learning. I would ensure I know the
reason behind the misbehaviour as there can be a number of reasons.  Lastly, I would be a reflective teacher who
always tries to improve their teaching in order to ‘make a positive
contribution to the wider life and ethos of the school’ (Teacher standards,
DfE, 2011).