A happy classroom is every teacher’s dream. This can be achieved without compromising academic results and the personal growth of your students. So how do you balance happiness and learning? Read on to learn 7 tips on how to achieve a happy classroom.
Three things need to happen for a happy classroom to exist
• Students must feel safe.
For a classroom to be safe, it should be under control. A teacher needs to implement procedures/policies that promote physical, social, and emotional security. Be firm but fair. Allow students to have a say inside the classroom and listen to their sentiments. Model the behavior you want to see from your students. This means you have to set a good example for them to follow.
• Students must feel valued.
Get to know students as individuals. You need to develop a positive rapport with them if you want to have a happy classroom. When a student misbehaves, try to talk to him/her in private. Humiliating a student in public will only make things worse. Students won’t care much about the lesson if they know that you’re not interested in them. But once they realize that you care, they will be more willing to listen to what you have to say.
• Students must feel successful.
As a teacher, you must do everything you can to ensure that students succeed academically. Incorporate technology and collaboration whenever appropriate. In giving assignments, clearly communicate what your expectations are. Provide constructive feedback if necessary. Most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate successes.
Tips on How to Achieve a Happy Classroom
1. Invest some time to get to know your students.
Make an effort to know each and every one of your students. Not only will this allow students to feel comfortable in class, but will also help a teacher build a caring classroom community. Knowing your students will help you understand them better.
2. Use humor.
Use any opportunity to use humor inside the classroom. After all, who doesn’t want to laugh? Tell a joke, funny story, or an unforgettable experience. Try not to take things too seriously all the time. Whatever subject you are teaching, you can relate it to real-world situations to better engage students.
3. Give praise.
Do not underestimate the power of praise. Children love to be told that they are awesome. It can be as simple as saying “Good job!” or an announcement to the rest of the class. Instead of highlighting what is wrong, do the opposite and have good behavior stand out. Students want that kind of attention and will work hard to get it.
4. Give choices.
Usually, teachers set the rules and decide how things will go inside the classroom. Students rarely get a chance to make choices for themselves. Allowing students to have a say in what or how they will learn is a good way to make them happy. Doing so will give students some degree of independence and shows that you trust them.
5. Allot time for play.
Playtime is important in a child’s development. It helps them grow mentally, socially, and emotionally. Playing is a great creative outlet, allows students to try different things, and teaches them how to interact with others. Of course, there’s a time for everything and too much of anything is bad. Solution – know the right time when to play.
6. Give students a break.
Students learn best when they’re given a chance to rest their brains throughout the school day. The purpose is to refocus students and prevent mental burnout. After each lesson, give students some time off. Even a 5-minute break will go a long way. Check out 9 Brain Breaks for Elementary Students.
7. Allow students to get social.
Provide opportunities for students to interact with their peers. It will help promote a positive classroom environment. Talking about things other than schoolwork (a.k.a. getting social) makes students happy. Give students a few minutes each day to communicate with their classmates.
Creating a happy classroom environment is a common goal for many teachers. Inject fun, humor, and playtime while ensuring focused learning takes place too. Make sure students feel safe, valued, and successful, and that each one feels challenged with achievable goals.
Teachers who can achieve a perfect balance between fun and hard work will not only get better results when it comes to grades but also have happier students under their care. If you’d like to learn more, check out, “Happy Teachers Change the World: A Guide for Cultivating Mindfulness in the Classroom.”