Creating a "Comfortable" Classroom Environment
Lesson Objective: Reinforce positive expectations with specific, intentional strategies
All Grades / All Subjects / Class Culture

Thought starters

  1. How does Mr. Van Dyck use proximity and voice control to encourage desired behaviors?
  2. What evidence do you see of a positive classroom culture?
  3. In what ways is a sense of belonging encouraged in this classroom?
62 Comments

How does Mr. Van Dyck use proximity and voice control to encourage desired behaviors?

Mr. Van Dyck has found his students respond more positively with a lower voice.  The middle school age group are "sensitive to loud" and argumentative voices.  By lowering his voice, the students have to quiet in order to hear him.  I have seen another teacher use the same voice lowering.  It works wonderfully for her as well.  Proximity is always important.  It lets the students know you are available to them.  

What evidence do you see of a positive classroom culture?

Mr. Van Dyck's students are very comfortable with him.  They joke and smile.  He has the room set up so the students have space but can also work with each other.

In what ways is a sense of belonging encouraged in this classroom?

Again, Mr. Van Dyck shows respect for his students opinions and encourages discussions.  He gives them a place where they can feel they can express themselves without judgement.  They students react positiviely to this sense of belonging.

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  1. How does Mr. Van Dyck use proximity and voice control to encourage desired behaviors?
    • By using proximity, Mr. Van Dyck ensures that students feel seen which fosters a sense of belonging. By lowing his voice when he needs students to listen, he removes the possibility that the students will feel intimidated by him. This helps students feel comfortable in the class, which helps them to learn and share their ideas.
  2. What evidence do you see of a positive classroom culture?
    • Students seem comfortable in their seats and are sitting upright rather than slouching or leaning on their elbows. This indicates that the students are engaged and interested in the lesson rather than being bored.
  3. In what ways is a sense of belonging encouraged in this classroom?
    • Mr. Van Dyck encourages students to share their thoughts with their classmates. He listens and responds to the students, and helps guide their conversations by mentioning different ideas he would like the students to apply to his teachings.
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Mr. Van Dyke shows proximity and voice control to encourage better behavior but also controlling his voice. He states that a student is more willing to behave when they is also met with a calm voice rather than having someone yelling over him to correct thier behavior. 

He creates a positive classroom culture by actually getting on the kids level. He uses humor and sarcasm to catch and keep their attention. I also notice that his classroom is not crowded but it is positioned in a way that everyone has enough room without feeling cramped. 

He demonstates a sense of belonging by allowing his kids to have a voice and an open discussion on whatever topic they are dealing with. 

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  1. How does Mr. Van Dyck use proximity and voice control to encourage desired behaviors?

Mr. Van Dyke softens his voice when he needs to get the students attention and leans in when he wants to offer a solution to misbehaviors.

2. What evidence do you see of a positive classroom culture?

The children seem comfortable with their learning environment. They are actively participating and having a good time. You see smiles and laughter throughout the video.

3. In what ways is a sense of belonging encouraged in this classroom?

The teacher asked open-ended questions allowing for discussion. Students are able to discuss as a group without fear of judgement and their views and additions to the conversation seemed to be valued by others in the classroom.

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  1. Mr. Van Dyck noticed working with the middle school population that they are easily bothered by loud voices, or an argumentative tone. Due to this, he chooses to speak to them in a quiet, calm tone to encourage desired behavior.
  2. There is evidence of a positive classroom culture in more ways than one. The students are facing one another throughout the classroom and there is space for Mr. Van Dyck to stand by every student if necessary. They have open discussions where they are taught they can share freely and their voice is heard. 
  3. Mr. Van Dyck has realized that every student just wants to feel as if they belong. He shows them that they can share in his classroom, without having to worry about recieving judgement from him or other students. Every student is encouraged to share and participate in discussions to show that their voice is worthy of being heard. 
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School Details

Buchser Middle School
1111 Bellomy Street
Santa Clara CA 95050
Population: 1044

Data Provided By:

greatschools

Teachers

Brian Van Dyck

Newest

Teaching Practice

Project-based Learning, PBL, Projects, Engagement

Teaching Practice

All Grades/ All Subjects/ Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Culture

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement