5.1 Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport
The learning environment is vital to classroom success in so many ways. To me, 5.1 means that teachers have created a classroom that is welcoming and friendly, often demonstrating caring and respect for each student as an individual. This also means that students are respectful to the teacher, as it goes both ways. During my Professional Issues class, my group and I discussed what it takes for the teacher to create this type of learning environment, as shown in Figure 1. This discussion was based on readings and prior discourse in class and through our group blog. It shows that I am building an understanding of what it means for teachers to create an environment of respect and rapport, and am constantly questioning and trying to learn from reflection and the reflection of others. It also allows for accommodating new ideas and integrating them into my personal philosophy of education. Because of this, I feel that I am more confident in my ability to create a welcoming environment for all students, and I can learn from others’ mistakes. While it will not stop me from making my own mistakes, I feel that by reflecting on the work of my mentor teacher and the readings from this class I can establish a learning environment that has respect for both teacher and students. This will only benefit my
students and myself. As my work thus far has been all in theory, I think that next steps will be to speak with more teachers on this subject, then use my new knowledge to implement strategies in the classroom to build rapport. One of these ideas might be from my mentor teacher, shown in Figure 2. She had “positive thoughts” for each student to choose and carry to their desk every day, letting them pick which one they wanted to focus on. Even small ideas such as this can be implemented easily and inexpensively, and are steps toward my goal of an environment of respect and rapport.