Emily, a second-year SPED teacher, was exhausted. Her classroom always felt chaotic, and she was out of ideas to make it better. Most of the information she had received in school about setting up your classroom wasn’t focused on students with disabilities.
When she searched for ideas on the internet, all she could find was inspiration for bulletin boards or classroom decorating. She loved her students and wanted them to feel comfortable and equipped for learning, but she didn’t know how to create a space that did that.
Maybe you’ve also felt like Emily at some point. The classroom is a home away from home for both students and teachers, so it’s important to cultivate a positive classroom environment.
No matter how many years you’ve been teaching, we can all benefit from learning new ideas and strategies for creating a calmer classroom.
Taking back your space
Creating a positive classroom environment isn’t about making our classrooms look cute or having an exciting theme. While these things can be fun, what really matters is that your classroom has a defined purpose and that you’ve set it up to function in a way that supports your students.
Educator Ayo Jones says that a positive learning environment fosters a sense of stability and security, and it also sets the expectation for learning. Ms. Jones is a SPED educator, speaker, and curriculum writer, so she has many years of experience creating classroom spaces that help students with disabilities thrive.
One way Ms. Jones says you can create a better classroom climate is by clearly defining your spaces. Defining spaces helps send your students a visual cue about what is going to happen in that area. Every classroom should have clearly defined areas for:
- Large groups
- Small groups
- Individual spaces
- Break areas
- Sensory areas
- Work stations
The spaces you need will depend on what grade level you teach and what your students need.
Creating calm classroom environments
Ms. Jones created the course, Quality Indicators in SPED — Classroom Climate, to help SPED educators discover how to create a high-quality classroom environment that makes learning easier.
In this course, Ms. Jones will share the 3 keys to creating a positive classroom climate. You’ll learn how to set up your classroom to best support students with disabilities.
After taking this 45-minute course, Quality Indicators in SPED — Classroom Climate, you’ll have a deeper understanding of:
- Classroom organization
- Classroom schedules
- Ways to support positive behavior
The course includes reflection questions and a course quiz to help you and your team understand the challenges of creating a positive learning environment and collaborate on solutions.
Level up your classroom
Are you ready to create a better classroom climate? Check out the demo for the course, Quality Indicators in SPED — Classroom Climate, to see what you can learn.