Safety is a basic need for all children and, as a teacher, you are the main creator of a safe and positive environment for your students. Whether you teach high school or kindergarten, a safe classroom community is essential to a successful year. Students who feel safe are happy, kind, growing, and a lot of fun to be around!
At the start of a new school year we spend majority of our time focusing on lesson planning and classroom decoration and we can easily overlook how essential creating a safe environment for our kids can be. When a student does not feel safe, they cannot be successful. Here are eleven tried and true ways you can build a safe classroom community for your students.
- Greet your students at the door each morning with a smile and kind words.
- Communicate safety with your body posture. Eye level contact and a calm body show your children that you are approachable.
- Value each student’s contribution to classroom conversation.
- Be intentional about getting to know each student.
- Be intentional about getting to know each student’s family and home life. This can transform your classroom, and help you understand the why behind the what!
- Have a growth mindset. Let your kids know its always okay to make a mistake, mistakes are things we can learn from.
- Have a safe space set up in your classroom. A calm down area with sensory items helps kids step away from the overstimulation of a long day.
- Set clear expectations as a classroom. Allow your children to be a part of creating and modeling expectations. Let everyone take ownership and review daily!
- Model conflict resolution and trust your children to lead the way. Have a plan for your classroom, model often, and encourage problem solving.
- Value the positive you see in your children. Each child needs to feel a sense of belonging. Bucket filling, “I spy kindness” and daily “shout outs” are a great way to encourage daily positive affirmations among students.
- Have fun together! Laughter and fun communicate safety to children. Jump into silly brain breaks with them, or take a quick walk outside and tell jokes! A happy teacher creates a happy and safe classroom!
How do you work to build a safe classroom community? I feel like there are so many little things we can do that truly add up and make a big difference!