Emotional Climate of a Room

Watching my students interact in our everyday classroom with different adults was eye opening.

Photo of Sarah Napoliello
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While observing my students during the teacher prep block when a different teacher comes in to teach, I saw my students become different students altogether.  They were reserved, unhappy, afraid, and unengaged.  They should have been excited to work on computers and learn new skills but they were being given directives and required to be silent for the entire period.  The teacher in the room didn't allow for any discussion and the very lively bunch of students who usually sit in those seats just hung their heads and typed; from time to time glancing at me for support.  The lack of interaction between the students appeared to be very difficult for the students.  The teacher did not communicate with the students in a positive way, it was almost commanding.  After observing the period, I thought about how important the way adults interact with students is to creating a positive learning environment.  I also thought about how to work with other adults to be able to create those emotionally safe and positive learning spaces for all students.

[Optional] Synthesize a little! In one sentence, describe something you learned from your empathy exercises or research.

It is important to get to know your students, and for our students to get to know us, no matter how little time you might spend with them throughout the week.

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