Standard 5: Learning Environment. Candidates use an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning and self-motivation.
Supporting Explanation Drawing on their knowledge of human motivation and behavior, candidates create a learning environment that is inclusive and supports positive social interaction, active engagement in learning and self-motivation. They organize and manage resources such as time, space, facilities, technology, activities, instructional assistants and volunteers to engage students in productive tasks and maximize the amount of class time spent in learning. They develop shared expectations for all students and create and maintain a positive classroom climate of mutual respect, support and inquiry. Candidates understand and use a wide variety of classroom management strategies that foster self control and self discipline. They can defuse potential conflict and use conflict resolution strategies to maintain a smoothly functioning learning community.
My Reflection on This Standard I strongly believe in developing a positive atmosphere in the learning environment that I create in my future classroom. I want to create an environment that students feel safe enough in to explore new things while feeling very comfortable. It is important that I am not seen as a dictator in my classroom. I want my students to know that I am in control, but that the thoughts, beliefs, and values of my students are also very important to incorporate into my classroom. I feel very strongly about classroom management and am open to trying new ideas on the topic. I understand that the management strategy that works for one class may not work for another class the next year or next class period. I know that I will not get stuck in a management rut, and that if things are not going well I can pull out another strategy and try something new. Ultimately I believe that learning time should not be wasted because unstructured, wasted time allows for behavioral issues to arise in the classroom environment. For that reason I plan to always be ready to teach and have a backup plan on hand when things go wrong or change. Flexibility is the key in my learning environment!
Artifact Explanation: I have included a mock classroom diagram to explain how I might set my classroom up in a middle school setting. My room would need to promote full participation and group work.