How to Create a Strong Classroom Community?
The concept of creating a classroom community is quite old, however, its importance is still present. A classroom where you come with a sense of alignment and collaboration, students tend to become true learners. Not only do they connect well with the subject material, but also with other students in the class. Besides that, you also develop exceptional communication skills essentially required in group-based projects and for uplifting other students in the class. In short, an environment of trust and mutual respect is created and fostered.
Creating a classroom community is beneficial both for the teacher and students. Therefore, here we are going to discuss some ideas that are going to help you create a classroom with a community mindset.
Create Rules Together
Apparently, students tend to abide by the rules better when they too are asked to contribute in their formulation. At the start of every semester or term, invite students to set the rules and regulations in order to create a classroom community. Try to create a decorum in the classroom to make a harmonious and productive place. The point is to help students understand their responsibilities and accountability along with the sense of leadership, the much-needed skills required in advanced and critically challenging courses.
Gather the ideas and put them in a consensus. Another workaround is to make groups in the class and ask them to do the same activity. Not only within the classroom, but the practice can also be applied outside as well.
One of the most decisive factors that affect the development of a thriving classroom community is the pace at which each learner absorbs the subject material learned. Apparently, when a student is seen struggling to keep up with the pace of the lecture in the class, he or she will gradually get disconnected from the rest of the students. At the same time, we cannot expect any teacher to be everywhere at all times. Personalized instructions are highly preferred, but not entirely possible at any random instant. This is where the need of a genuine mentorship in the classroom is felt.
For instance, ask the students who are particularly exceptional at some topics or subjects to lend a helping hand to those in need. In doing so, you are connecting mentors, or team leaders, with a particular group of students. Besides that, the teacher will also be required to acquire timely and quality feedback from all the mentors on regular basis. This will help you find out the students in class who are quite off the pace requiring some extra attention.
Consider Mutual Interests
There are a number of things in the class that teachers notice and students don’t, for instance, what students have in common with those outside their peer groups. Merging the common interests of the learners is an effective way to raise a classroom community. This is especially useful for introvert and shy students, those who must not have ever dreamed of studying and collaborating with the best in the class get a chance to uplift their confidence and prove their worth through common interests.
This might be a highly rewarding approach, but it can be equally risky as well. Students might also buckle under peer pressure, taunts regarding social class, and fear of isolation from their perfected cliques, the factors that can alter their decisions greatly. Unarguably, the most critical consideration any teacher needs to be aware of is that students should prioritize the best learning experience at the top of their list.
Sometimes, this calls for stepping out of the comfort zone in order to identify the mutual interests of the students. Summing it all up, students should clearly understand and acknowledge that creating a classroom community is about encouraging the people to work together, and not separate them.
Martin McGrath is an eLearning specialist with ample experience of teaching in traditional classrooms too. Besides his core job and passion in writing informative blogs to help students uplift their performance in the class, Martin also operates a top-notch custom assignment help company handling a number of college and university degree programs under his expertise.