05 Aug How to create a positive learning environment
Building a positive classroom environment can be difficult for teachers. It can be a mission that is easier said than done! At Speak Up Studio, we are fortunate that our learning spaces aren’t like regular classrooms. Instead, they are spaces filled with colour, glitter and costumes! But there is more to creating a positive learning environment in the classroom than having beautiful studio walls and vibrant rainbow wigs!
A Speech and Drama class has lots of pieces in the puzzle. There are three key areas that help us build positive and supportive learning environments:
The best performance comes from failure
It’s easy to let all your positivity slip through your fingers when you are constantly hitting figurative roadblocks or failures. A fortunate perk of Speech and Drama, however, is that a performer’s best work often stems from their biggest failures. In Speech and Drama, we encourage our students to learn from their mistakes instead of falling victim to them. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to perform (well, within reason of course!) and we focus on building up the positives rather than fixing or correcting the negatives. We focus on the process rather than the outcome.
Most people have the natural ambition to aim for success. Kids can find it unusual that in the drama classroom you’re allowed to fail. For beginners, there can be a sense of anxiety to get up and read aloud or perform an improvisation due to the fear of failure or embarrassment. With time our students begin to understand that we don’t fail in drama, we learn. Even if sometimes the thing we learn is what not to do again!
We get to know the students and allow the students to get to know us
After the first ten minutes of a class we aim to know the names of every child in the room. I’m definitely not going to vouch that we achieve that goal every time, but just because a name might slip our mind, a student never does.
Our students tell us fantastical stories every week of what they’ve been up to or are looking forward to. They tell us enthusiastically about what they’re working on at school. We hear all about what is happening at home, and what their annoying little brother has been tormenting them with. The simple act of remembering the things our students tell us about their lives and following up in a later class is such a small thing we do but can mean the whole world to our students and how positive they feel about being in our classroom.
Additionally, Speak Up teachers are open with students. We share our lives with them, crazy stories of our own adventures and of course lots of pictures of our cute pets. We aim to build positive relationships within every class where every member (students and teacher alike) is an individual with lives and stories that matter.
Every child is valid
We know very well that no two children are the same and no two children learn in the exact same way. This is just one of the few reasons why we keep our Speak Up classes small. Small classes mean that as teachers, we are able to cater to each of our students in a manner that best benefits their learning and growth.
Being able to take the time with individual students to remind them that they and their work is valid, is not only one of the ways we provide every student with equal learning opportunities, but also how we build our positive classroom environments.
At Speak Up you will find a positive class for your child to attend. A class that lets kids be kids, where every student matters and where the focus is on the process rather than the outcome.
Find out how your child can benefit from positive experiences in our Speech and Drama classes here.
~ Miss Grace