Today was the End of Term 1 and when I look back I think Ashley and myself have done a lot of things together. But the one that stands out the most is developing a culture of the classroom where everyone is safe to share their ideas. I wanted an environment of trust and acceptance in which students are empowered and feel comfortable to share their ideas with the rest of their mates and their class teachers without being shy or embarrased. Ashley picked up this idea very quickly when she saw me doing the class Treaty that spoke about how to be a team.
Our classroom Treaty is all about how we work together because I strongly believe that behaviour does not remain an issue if there is lots of teaching and learning happening in a class. Bad behaviour sublimes when students are focussed and are intrinsically motivated to achieve their goals. So from the very beginning we talked about what a good team looks like and that if we were a good team then we would support one another in learning and would also celebrate each others success.
It was obvious that we would make lots of mistakes when learning new things but our mistakes were our opportunities to learn. In the beginning students were a little hesitant to share their ideas. Ashley saw me using the class treaty as a tool to encourage and remind students about achieving their goals and trying their best. She quickly imbibed this style into her own teaching and took it a bit further into growth mindsets.
I feel that now our students are more reflective and nonjudgemental if someone makes a mistake. They are developing habits where they are learning to listen to what others say and respect each other's opinion and feelings. I am happy that our classroom is continuously becoming a safe place to explore new ideas and share our thinking about our everyday learning.