|Dimension 3.3: Classroom Culture- The teacher leads a mutually respectful and collaborative class of actively engaged learners.|
It is important that my classroom is a space where everyone, teachers and students alike, feels safe and respected. During my time as a student teacher, I made it clear to my students that I loved having fun and being silly, but that I also expected them to be respectful towards me and towards each other. We had several whole class discussions about what type of behavior was playful and what was disrespectful to those around them. However, disagreements and disrespectful moments are bound to happen in any classroom, so my mentor teacher and I used restorative practices, such as classroom circles, to talk about them and brainstorm ways to avoid problems in the future.
We also focused on creating and discussing relevant SEL topics with students. We wanted to use authentic situations to encourage authentic responses that would stick with students even after the assignment or discussion was complete. We discussed and taught students how to do things such as stand up for their needs, set boundaries with peers, resolve conflicts among themselves, and how to be empathetic to those around them. I have attached a few examples of our students responses below.