top of page

Positive Classroom Climate

There are so many things that educators plan for at the beginning of every school year. One of the most important considerations needs to be developing a positive classroom climate, wherein students and educators feel safe and appreciated.

One of the simplest ways to foster a positive climate is for educators to greet their students at the door every morning. Children love to be greeted with a high five, hug, wave, or fist bump. A smile also goes a long way to making a child feel welcomed.

Greeting students at the door provides them with an opportunity to share information with you or lets them know that they are important. Your smile could be just what a child needs to lift their spirits that day.

When I was teaching, I made a point of meeting my students at the door. I would start with a ‘Good morning, (child’s name)’ and inquire about their night, their bus ride to school, their swimming lesson, or even their new haircut. As an administrator, I still make a point of greeting students and families at our school’s Kiss ‘n Ride. It is also a great way to start my day off right, as it helps clear my mind before a busy day.

After the morning school bell rings, I walk the halls to say ‘Hello’ to every homeroom before returning to my office. The time I take to walk my building allows me to build a connection with my staff and students. It is important for them to feel valued when they are at school.

Ever attend a professional learning session where you did not know another person? Then, a colleague smiled at you and your anxiety immediately decreased. This is how some students feel when they attend school for the first time, start a new grade, or are the ‘new’ student who moved to the area. Educators play a crucial role in how their students feel in the classroom. Choosing to speak kindly, even when a child makes a poor choice can influence the climate in a classroom. Using manners and humor are great ways to set the tone for a class. This behavior may also help ‘fill a child’s bucket’ that day.

Something as simple as saying a student’s name helps to build rapport. Greeting the children after lunch or using their names when you are asking the students a question, demonstrates the value you place on them and their contributions to the class. You’ve already read how my teachers made me feel uncomfortable by mispronouncing my name when I was a student. When you are unsure of how to pronounce a child’s name, just ask the child to help you. Showing your students that you need help also demonstrates that educators make mistakes, too. This increases their comfort level with you and builds a trusting bond.

To highlight the importance of developing a positive classroom culture, I encourage you to watch Rita Pearson’s Ted Talk. It is informative and will make you smile, but most importantly, I hope it encourages you to reflect on how you promote a safe and welcoming classroom culture for your students.

Rita Pearson’s Ted Talk

Happy Reflecting!


bottom of page