How to create a safe space for early learners?

In today’s world, it is important to create a safe space in your classrooms for learning. Given below are a few techniques to practice on a day to day basis.

Establish a connection with your students

Remind them that you are there to help and guide them, and listen to them when they share their stories. You are the string that will connect all of them together, hence knowing about your students, where they come from, what their fears are and what makes them happy is important.

A sense of community in your classrooms

Students should feel a sense of belonging and that of a second home in their classrooms. They should look forward to coming to your class with enthusiasm. To begin with, you can do a simple practice of establishing classroom norms together with the learners or watch TED talks on a diversity of topics.

Create dialogue circles

Students sit facing each other, preferably in a circle where conversations and open communication takes place. Ensure that all the students are listening to each other as they share their thoughts about a topic. There is a sense of belonging as they start sharing feelings and emotions. It also is a way to resolve conflicts and foster well being.

Giving choices

A student’s ability to be creative and explore new horizons comes from confidence, and confidence is built by making choices — both right and wrong ones and learning from them. It will also make them feel involved in the class. By simply allowing them to make choices, you are enabling ‘decision-making skills’ that will become ingrained in them and also help in their professional and personal growth.

For example: “Shall we paint today or watch a video for today’s activity?”

Individual needs of the student

‘Feeling safe’ is largely dependent on each student being acknowledged for their individuality, strengths, and flaws. Understanding diversity appropriately is vital for a student’s confidence and has an impact on the student-teacher engagement. Different sorts of learners exist, with some driven to participate in conversations, others afraid to express themselves in a classroom, and still others easily disheartened if they fail. Taking the time to understand the various demands will go a long way toward creating a healthy learning environment.

Keep your classroom visually appealing

A welcoming classroom, equipped with tables, chairs, and cushions, makes it more inviting to visit and spend more time there. Stick posters, artwork by your learners, inspirational phrases, and other objects that you will utilize for activities to make it enjoyable and attractive. When there is less clutter and a tidy/pleasant ambience, we all perform much better.

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