Your Classroom Culture: 12 Question to Ask Yourself

Every classroom has a culture. Some aspects of your classroom culture might have evolved organically while others have been carefully planned and implemented. You may be pleased with some aspects of your classroom culture and not so pleased with others. As the teacher, you are the primary architect of your classroom culture. For that reason, it may be good to reflect a bit and see if what you have created is working in the ways that you had planned.

With that in mind, I offer these questions for reflection:
  1. What are five adjectives that describe my classroom culture?

  2. How do my students feel about school?

  3. How do my students feel about each other. How well do they work together?

  4. Do we "gel?" Do we feel like a cohesive group?

  5. Is my class a safe place to take academic risks?

  6. Are questions, creativity, originality, and new ideas welcome?

  7. What values are important in my classroom - respect? tolerance? trustworthiness? self-control? kindness?

  8. What behaviors are important in my classroom -trying your best? following directions? staying on task? helping others?

  9. What motivates my students to do their work or behave appropriately?

  10. How are discipline issues handled in my classroom? What is the result of this strategy?

  11. What makes my classroom special and unique- what are students likely to remember 20 years from now?

  12. Other than academics, what are three things I hope my students learn from being in my class?

Were any of these questions particularly helpful? Do you have more to add? Please share with a comment.


EmilyK said...

Great post! It is important to look at each class's culture.


I am Bullyproof Music said...

What great questions! No need to teach on automatic when each classroom has its own special form of harmony!

debbie bryant said...

These are great -especially to think about right before getting a new class. Something I've tried to do over the last few years - When a student brings me work that is subpar what I really want to say is "Does this look like 2nd grade work?" or "Did you hear any of the directions I gave?" BUT what I've actually saying is "What do you think we could do to make this better?" Sometimes they just stare at me, sometimes they say 'I don't know' but usually they have at least one suggestion because they know they didn't try very hard. So I put them to work on their own suggestion - it has helped keep me calmer and lets the student reflect on their own work.

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