I noticed the other day that my intern was very animated as my class was coming in, which made them a little more wound up than usual. This led to them being a bit more unruly when she was trying to teach them at the start of class.
It made me realize how important our behavior and attitude are in the classroom. The students feed off of what we do and how we act. With some classes, it’s necessary to be energetic, in order to get them going. The sleepy morning class usually needs to have a little energy injected into it. However, the class coming in after lunch usually needs a calm presence to settle them down and get them ready for learning.
I suggested that she experiment with that idea in the next few days (since she is going to be observed by her field instructor and wants to do well). She is going to try being more calm when the second class enters.
We also have a class that definitely needs some pep in their step. In fact, a couple of the students in that class tend to want to fall asleep (a whole other issue to be addressed!) With that class, if the teacher is energetic and acts excited about learning, they will feed off that energy and wake up a bit.
We have a second class that already is filled with energy. That’s a group that needs to be calmed down and reminded that they are not on the playground.
It’s a delicate balance that teachers face: keeping classes energetic enough to not fall asleep, but not so out of control the students aren’t learning.
What do you do to help your students maintain the best learning environment?