JBCN School Blog
Easy Ways To Maintain Positive Attitude In The Classroom
A Diet Of PositivityWhen I was asked to write on this topic I did not realize that there was any other way to be in a classroom but positive. I don’t deal with inanimate objects, or robots or machinery. I deal with living, breathing, thinking, emotional and a tad bit over dramatic youngsters who deserve nothing less than my very best. What I say and do in my classroom has an impact and that is something which I always strive for.
If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” (Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Estrada)
One of my main tools of operation to keep myself and the pulse of my classroom positive is humour. Once you learn the trick to inject humour into your lessons at the right time and in the right context and you actually get a laugh or two, you can feel yourself relax. Once you relax, your happy attitude radiates throughout the classroom almost visibly changing bored looks and hunched shoulders into eager learners, who while waiting for your next punchline start to listen.
Another way to inject positivity is to make the learner feel ‘safe’ as soon as you walk in – I don’t mean this in a witness protection programme kind of way but a room where the learner does not feel intimidated by your very presence. There’s a thin line between being firm and being scary. Firmness is acceptable, often respected by the learner but scary means fear driving a wedge between you and your learner. Your positive attitude matters, your words have an effect, positivity helps the learner grow while negativity crushes.
You have to be one who gives them the space to grow, where they feel free to speak up, participate and feel encouraged to be the best they can be- for you- cause you to appreciate their efforts. They have to feel they matter.
There is no failure. Only feedback. (Robert Allen) A positive classroom is only as good as a positive learner. We as teachers need to shed those preconceived notions which hinder your ability to accept the uniqueness of that learner. Listen to your own head and heart when dealing with your learners, give them a chance to show you what they know and can do. Show them that you have their back, are on their side. Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
A tool which always injects a positive attitude in the classroom is relatability with a dash of goofiness. I can pretend to make mistakes and that I have found brings the learner to my side. Laugh at yourself once in a while and they will laugh with you, not at you!
Be the first line of protection for the learner. Often in a classroom, there are so many divides created by other learners, so many darts of ridicule being flung back and forth in the garb of “I was just joking!” that these unseen arrows of humiliation seep into the psyche of the learners and sap up all the positive attitude in the classroom which might have been there. Negativity is a two-way conundrum – you can be the one making fun of the person but in some ways its tiring and depressing. As a teacher, I am their final line of defense… I have to protect, I have to stress on kindness and I have to make all learners feel equal and able to speak freely to me. As their confidence grows so does the positive attitude in the classroom and hence into my teaching.
Written by Ms. Nandini Krishna
JBCN International School, Oshiwara
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Posted on: Tuesday,2019,May,Tue