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The Classroom Environment

The classroom environment

The classroom environment is difficult to evaluate, and even more difficult to steer.

Sometimes, as teachers, we get a group of students with whom we get along immediately, without any difficulties, and everything flows.

Other times, there is a negative atmosphere from the outset – and it is very difficult to figure out what happened for the students to be watching us as teachers with suspicion.

I have been working hard over the past years to develop a classroom environment that aligns with my values – an inclusive classroom in which students are encouraged to speak freely. A classroom in which we learn from first principles, discuss back and forth, interact a lot, and in which students ask many questions so we end up discussing other things than originally planned for the lecture.

And, while I have my ideal classroom environment figured out, I still don’t know very well how to steer the environment. In the end, the classroom environment follows from the interhuman interaction – something influenced by a large amount of factors, many of which are out of our hands.

At this moment, things go well when a the atmosphere in class is positive from the beginning of the semester – but when there is a negative atmosphere from the beginning, I still find it difficult to turn the tide.

What do you do to steer your classroom atmosphere?

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