August 12, 2017See All Newsletters
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This Week: Building Culture in the Classroom | Top Tch Videos of 2017 | Class Culture To Do List
Create a class culture that supports learning.
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Get inspired and stay organized as you plan to engage students and build relationships.
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Start your year off right by watching our most popular videos of 2017 so far.
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As a child, I remember the first day of school being boring and routine. Each teacher would describe the rules of the classroom, procedures for turning in work, and the grade breakdown. I’d usually have a few papers to take home for my family to sign and sometimes, homework. The first day, to sum it up, was about rules.

As a teacher, I began to reflect on what’s most important to students. What did they find most valuable on day one? What did they want me to know? What made them feel welcome in my classroom? I love how Sean McComb writes each student a handwritten, first day of school letter to make them feel welcomed and to start the trust building process. Last year my son’s teacher sent home a sealed envelope to be opened the night before the first day of school. The excitement and curiosity was amazing and we, as a family, knew our son would be loved and cared for by such a thoughtful teacher.

If letter writing isn’t your forte, there are so many great ways to make students feel calm, comfortable, and cared for. Watch Emotional Check-Ins and consider how to help students develop awareness and control, creating calm within the classroom. Mindfulness in the Classroom can also be leveraged to allow students to be present, focused, and calm during lessons. And in Tribes: Agreements for Learning Together, David Olio works to establish classroom norms and allows each student to choose their best way to participate.

As you prepare to build your classroom culture this year, put yourself in the shoes of your students and ask yourself: what would have been the most valuable experience for you, as a student, on your first day? Your first week? What helped you to develop trusting relationships with other students and with your teacher? As you reflect on these questions, you’ll further define what the culture will look like and feel like in your classroom.

Crystal MoreyCrystal
Teacher Laureate at Teaching Channel
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“Student approved” strategies to help all teachers — especially new teachers — build supportive, engaging learning spaces.

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Tch Laureate Josh Parker and Marquis Colquitt focus on growth, relationships, and equity as they navigate an instructional coaching cycle.

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Maricela Montoy-Wilson outlines three strategies that will help your students develop a growth mindset.

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