CM IndexSchool ClimateEDEL 414EDSE 415

Beginning the School Year and Creating Great Classroom Climate


Classroom Climate Assessment Inventory

1.    Start the Year on a positive note

·         Get the students involved right away.

·         What statement does your first activity make?

·         You are setting off in some direction, it is easier to get going in a direction that you like off the bat than have to work to pull them back in shape later.

·         Make getting to know names a priority.

·         Let the students know where the ship is heading early.


2.    Creating positive expectations

·         Use the walls to help convey your messages.

·         Display student work early.  Let them know it is their space.

·         Use bulletin boards to make a statement or provide information.

·         Put up your favorite sayings/quotes/messages.

·         Use language effectively

·         Use your mantras, “in this class we . . .”

·         Make a rule that language needs to be “life giving” and not destructive.  So no put downs, no rudeness, no disrespect or self or other.

·         Use class time for put ups and recognition.

·         Make class expectations as explicit (behavioral/operational/practical) as possible.  Practice them. Use concrete specifics when discussing them. Make them a personal part of the social contract.


3.    Creating Community

·         It has to feel safe and that starts with you first (elementary expect this to take about 1-2 weeks, secondary twice as long at least).

·         Model appropriate personal sharing. Be real yet professional.

·         Avoid sarcasm or negativity

·         Maintain dignity in the way you deal with students’ egos and persons.

·         Make some personal contact with each student.

·         Next, students have to feel safe around one another (this can take over a month in the elementary level and 2+ months for secondary).

·         Accept only “life giving language.”

·         Student need to practice taking risks (little ones at first and then progressively larger).

·         There needs to be a sense of “We”/Tribe in the class.

·         Ask yourself, what makes them a unit? Why do they need each other?

·         Help them move beyond just societal bonds to communal bonds.

·         Societal bonds = what I agree to do or not do by contract

·         Communal bonds = what we do to make the collective better

·         A tribe needs to have collective successes

·         A tribe defends its identity, its members, and its rituals.