Hey everyone! My name is Jessica Stairs and I’m this week’s guest blogger for the amazing Mme Caroline. I teach Grade 1 French immersion in Ottawa and have taught everything from K-6. This will be my fifth year teaching Grade 1 and I love it the most! I share a lot of teaching ideas on Instagram and Facebook and I’d love to connect with you!
Building a classroom community lies at the very heart of what we do as teachers. Yes, we’re there to teach curriculum, but students are more likely to actually absorb and apply the curriculum if they feel valued in the environment where they’re learning. The importance of building community goes back to the idea that kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Research shows that students learn best when they are in an environment where they feel valued and safe, both physically and emotionally. Every interaction is an opportunity to make that connection and make sure we are meeting each student’s needs as best we can.
So knowing all this, the real question becomes how can we actually build this community within our classroom? Luckily, small actions done consistently over time can make a big difference! It’s important to know that building a strong classroom community doesn’t stop at a few lessons or activities within the first few weeks of school. To foster a truly strong community takes some true planning and repetition throughout the year. Here are a few things that have worked for me in the past, as well as one that I’m planning to trial this year in my classroom.Read more