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How to Set Up and Maintain a Positive Classroom Environment

written by: Lady Lit • edited by: Wendy Finn • updated: 2/8/2012

Establishing a positive classroom environment immediately is extremely important as it sets the tone for the remainder of the school year—it sets the teacher’s expectations with regard to discipline. Students know what is expected of them, and are less likely to bestow surprises on teachers.

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    The First Step

    The first step is to greet students as they enter your classroom door. This is important for a number of reasons, but teachers must remember that students have feelings. Also, this is one of those little things that teach students good manners. Students tend to be impressionable, and they learn what behaviors are appropriate by watching adults interact with students as well as fellow teachers.

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    Model Exemplary Behavior

    If teachers ignore their students as they enter the classroom, students learn that it is acceptable and appropriate to not greet individuals. In other words, as a teacher, you are a very influential person; a teacher is a role model. Thus, it is important for teachers to model acceptable behavior at all times, both on campus and off campus.

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    Welcome Your Students

    When the bell rings, walk in and say “Good Morning/Afternoon, or whatever greeting is appropriate. Make your students feel as if they belong in your class and that they are welcomed; self-esteem is one of the best ways of students regarding themselves as valuable, and therefore respect behavior in the same way. Teachers must remember that without their students, they would not have jobs.

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    Maintain the Tone

    Once you establish the tone in your classroom, it is imperative to maintain the tone. Maintaining the tone is established by having a simple routine. If a teacher does bell work, make sure that students know where to pick up their assignments. Each day the students enter the teacher’s classroom, they will know exactly what to do and how to go about it.

    Perform the same routine day after day. Not only do students know what to expect, it frees up the teacher’s time to call roll, tie up loose ends, and prepare for the day’s lesson. The biggest part is there will be minimal, if any, disruptions. Most teachers will agree that the fewer disruptions they have in their classroom, the better their day is.