A safe classroom is essential for students to be themselves. Here are ten things a teacher can do to create a safe space in the classroom for all students.
As a teacher, you know that your classroom is an important place. That's why you spend hours perfecting your lesson plan.
But did you ever stop to think about how you can make your classroom a safe space for all your students? It's more than simply having a few students sit together.
Here are 10 ways to ensure that your classroom is a safe space for all:
- Start With Empathy
Empathy can take you all the way. Before you start planning your classroom, it's vital to get a sense of what the students are going through.
Are they struggling with school life? Maybe the students feel like they don't belong in their environment. Perhaps they're scared or intimidated by the kids around them.
Whatever the case may be, you must understand where your students are coming from before setting up your classroom. It'll help you create an inclusive learning space for all students and make everyone feel safe and comfortable.
- Build a Sense of Community
The first step to ensuring your classroom is a safe space for everyone is building a sense of community.
As the teacher, it's your responsibility to create an open and welcoming environment. It starts with inviting students to engage in the classroom with their peers.
When students feel comfortable in your classroom, they will make friends with others who share their interests and strengths. It will help them feel accepted and safe. In return, these students will become advocates for making the school safer for others.
When this goes on at your school, you can expect a marked change in opinions about how great school feels for all students.
- Encourage Students To Share Opinions
At the beginning of every class, allow students to share their opinions on your lessons.
Ask them what they think of specific teaching techniques and how they feel about the topics you are studying. It's a good way for students to voice their opinions and get comfortable sharing with others.
Initially, some students might be afraid to speak about it. But after some time, they'll no longer be afraid to voice their opinions. You'll know that your classroom is a safe space when this happens.
- Encourage Student-Driven Classroom
The inductive teaching method is a powerful technique based on a student-driven classroom. It enables them to become self-learners
One of the steps in creating a safe space is to offer student-driven initiatives.
Let your students be in charge of the curriculum and give them the power to create their own learning goals. Instead of teaching how to do a math equation or write an essay, let your students brainstorm ideas about what they want to learn.
You can also help their initiative by providing resources relevant to their interests. By helping with their projects and giving them the tools they need, you foster collaboration and opportunity for everyone in the room.
- Build Relationships With Students
Relationships are the most crucial part of creating safe spaces for your students.
It involves listening to your students and understanding their views. You can start by setting aside time each day to have conversations with your students. Let them know that you care about their success in school and outside the classroom.
You can also share personal stories of your experiences so students can connect with you.
Creating these relationships will enable you to have a strong bond with your students, making building a safe space.
- Add Humor to Your Pedagogy
The use of humor in your teaching style is a great way to break the ice between you and your students. It makes you approachable to the students.
Humor helps your students to relax and feel safe in your classroom.
- Encourage Classroom Creativity
We've become so worried about being attacked for how we look that we've forgotten to be creative in our society.
By allowing the students to be themselves makes them feel safe. When you allow your students to express themselves creatively, they feel empowered. It enables them to take a part of the world and transform it into something better.
Encourage creativity in your classroom by letting students talk about their ideas and interpretations. It will give your students a chance to stretch their minds and explore new ideas with you. This helps them feel their thoughts are worth sharing and that their voice is essential in the classroom.
- Creating Structure and Routines
The biggest fear for any human is comprehending the unknown.
You can create a safe space in a classroom by building structures and routines. Establishing guidelines will ensure that all students understand the requirements.
The routine can be as simple as sharing the course curriculum objectives for that day. It can also be letting the students know that you'll be dedicating 10 minutes of lesson revision every time.
It provides a consistent baseline that all students can understand, making it easier to know what they can expect.
- Classroom Norms
There are certain norms that the students need to follow in the classroom. Generally, it is based on communication or classroom interaction.
Establishing norms in the classrooms helps students understand what is and isn't appropriate behavior in your classroom.
It promotes discipline and is necessary for helping students grow academically and personally. It helps in creating a safe space for students.
- Celebrate Failure
To make your school a safe space for all, you must create an environment where everyone is comfortable and open to talking about their mistakes.
Students are so focused on the outcomes that they forget to enjoy the journey. They forget that learning is a fun thing.
As a teacher, you should promote celebrating the process of learning. Passing or failing is just the outcome. What's important is to enjoy the process. When you do that, success will find its way.
Celebrating mistakes creates a positive learning culture and promotes a safe space for students in the classroom.
These are some techniques that the teacher can employ to ensure that the classroom is a safe space for students.