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7 ways to create an environment of respect in the classroom

Staff, M Klinck

Encouraging children to listen and learn in a classroom throughout the day is all part of a teachers’ role, but the more respect in the class the easier that will become.
It’s not just about students respecting teachers, you need to respect pupils too. Deputy Head, Matt Klinck, at Hawkley Hall High School has put together his top seven ways to help create an environment of respect in the classroom.

Know your students

This sounds obvious but it is crucial to ensure you have all of the correct information relating to your classes including their academic information as well any information relating to specific needs. Get to know them as quickly as possible using icebreakers and find out their interests.

Be consistent

Your students will respect a consistent approach to behaviour management. If students understand there will be consequences for inappropriate behaviour and they will be followed through, then the vast majority will respond positively. The same applies to the positive reinforcement of expectations. Never miss an opportunity to highlight examples of positive behaviour.

Be respectful yourself

Model expectations in your own communication with students and peers. Try to keep your tone low and even. Never be condescending. Smile!

Make learning challenging and interesting

Students need to be given the opportunity to go outside their comfort zone. If the work they are doing is pitched appropriately and they feel supported then they will respect the effort taken.

Feedback is king

Make sure that you mark work regularly and ensure students receive effective feedback that they can act upon. This demonstrates your commitment to their learning and acknowledges that mistakes are crucial to improving over time. Make them think in new ways to find their own solutions.

Engage parents and carers

Try to contact parents and carers to praise students as well as when you want them to know of any negative behaviour. They may also provide additional information that helps you build a stronger understanding of their child.

Focus on effort

Talk to students about having a growth mindset. They must feel secure in acknowledging their own errors and getting things wrong. This will help develop their resilience. Highlight effort of individuals and groups of students when working collaboratively. Show examples of what great effort looks like and share your own experiences of overcoming challenges.