What is Classroom Culture?
A thriving classroom culture results when the members of the classroom, the physical environment, the schedule and the approaches to instruction work together in harmony. A positive classroom culture is essential for setting the stage for successful learning experiences.
Many people may be more familiar with the phrase classroom management as opposed to classroom culture. However, management often has connotations of discipline and control. When thinking about classroom culture, we want to cultivate an atmosphere of kindness, firmness, dignity, and mutual respect. We want to help children see their classroom as a place where shared responsibilities, not rules, are the norm; where positive and kind language is utilized; and where clear procedures help make the day go smoothly. These pillars of classroom culture are taught, modeled, practice and reflected upon frequently as everyone in the community works to make their classroom a cooperative and positive place to learn.
As you think about the culture in your own classroom, consider the following questions:
- What is going well in the classroom?
- How is the classroom working?
- What are some challenges?
- Do you feel like some of these challenges impede academic instruction?
- How will working on the Classroom Culture in the room provide positive academic achievement?
- How does Language, Procedures and Responsibilities contribute to a healthy and thriving Classroom Culture?
- Problems and Solutions for Transitions, Distractions and Interruptions During Instructional Time (PDF)
- Procedural Planning Template (Word Doc)
- Teaching Classroom Procedures (PDF)
- Steps to Better Classroom Conversations (PDF)
- Matching Language to Beliefs about Student Learning (PDF)
- Characteristics of Effective Teacher and Student Language (PDF)