Post 5 of 6 for my student teaching thoughts. These are my thoughts on building community in the classroom.
- Empathy Care about the students and their lives. They will reciprocate. After all, community is just a bunch of people all caring about the same things.
- Have students help build at least some of the classroom rules/regulations Giving students some control over the environment ought to give them ownership of the class. Feeling responsible for something helps build a sense of commitment and caring for that thing, which is the class in this case.
- Employ activity (e.g. physical movement, intellectual stimulation) that encourages students to get to know, care about, and trust one another If you have tips or hints on how to do this well, I welcome them in the comments.
- Be myself everyday I know full well that if I try to fake it, my students will know and resent me for it. Resentful students do not care about anything.
That's all I've got there. It's not very specific. I'm going to be working on coming up with some more concrete ideas as I go along: not ideal, I know but as good as it gets for now. Please let me know if you have any input on building community in a classroom.