How teaching is being done right now is very much different from how things were done by our ancestors. In the past, all it took is some open space and some trees for shade and, voila, you already have a classroom where you can share your knowledge and understanding of life. Today, it takes a combination of street-smart, creativity, and technology in order to build the right environment for learning.
Teaching and Technology
Teachers are not just responsible for lesson plans. They also need to make sure their classrooms are optimized for learning, from how the boards are placed to how each desk and chair is arranged. These days, a teacher has a lot more at her disposal to make learning happen with the help of modern technology.
The interactive whiteboard, an example of modern classroom fixtures and furniture, is something that you would not see in Australia and other countries a few decades ago. This whiteboard has taken the place of blackboards due to the fact that it makes learning more fun. What’s great about this type of whiteboard is the fact that it allows teachers to capture notes, including handwritten ones, and create polls and quizzes.
Some schools have also adopted an open floor plan that lets students attend to whatever topic piques their interest. They can also easily move around and see what they can learn from other teachers in the room.
Collaborative Learning Wins the Day
In the past, teaching in a classroom would mean having a teacher in front who gives the lesson to the class all sitting quietly across her. Today, the key to making sure the students actually learn is to get them to collaborate on a specific project, task, or topic. You do not need any modern classroom furniture for this to happen. You just need to allow the students to work with people they are comfortable with and allow them to discover solutions on their own.
By doing so, the students learn how to think critically and creatively. If they need help, you can guide them by using sentence frames that can jumpstart their discussion with one another. Of course, in order for collaboration to begin, you first need to build a good relationship with them. You also need to get them to have an open mind about the people they will be working with.
Rules are Still Rules
One of the things that have not changed is the importance of setting rules. If you want to maintain control of your classroom, you need to make sure your students are aware of the rules within your classroom. It also helps if you are consistent in how you apply these rules. Regardless of the age of your students, you will have a hard time getting them to follow you if you are not consistent in applying your rules.
As rules are typically seen as a restrictive process, you also need to be consistent in celebrating the accomplishments of your students. This will help them see your classroom as a place where they can be open about what they feel and what they think.