Article Review by: Kristin Reed Curriculum and Instruction ED 522 -Fall 2009 Creating Respectful Classroom Environments
It is a principle or standard that encourages the appreciation of ideas, traditions, rituals and cultures of others A genuine tolerance of people’s diversity regardless of race, heritage, age, sex or socioeconomic level An appropriate way of acting that helps make up your character and personality What is respect?
Respect Can Be Held For • People • Materials • Ideas • Values • Traditions
Students come to our classes bringing with them a wide variety of both positive and negative values imposed on them by others. • (ex: parents, church, TV, radio and other media) • It then becomes the teacher’s difficult duty to take these preconceived notions and reshape them in order to create a respectful classroom environment where all students feel safe and valued for who they are. • Both character education and multicultural education play a critical part in teaching and learning about respect.
The Teacher As the Core of Respect • As a teacher you need to be reflective and open to new people and cultural experiences. • Show respect for students and make them aware that they are all valued members of the classroom community by taking an interest in learning more about their varied traits, backgrounds and personal experiences and allowing them to express their uniqueness. • “Respect can be tacitly held, actively demonstrated and felt.” (Miller and Pedro)
The Teacher As the Core of Respect • It is important to teach by example. • Develop and demonstrate respectful working relationship with students, coworkers and parents • Use respectful tone, words, actions and attitudes to model respect in and out of your classroom when speaking to others,. • Teach students to respect classroom materials by showing them how: • Introduce new materials • Arrange class materials and equipment in an attractive and useful manner • Teach students that you will not tolerate disrespect in your classroom
Benefits of Creating a Respectful Classroom Environment • There is a decreased fear of the unknown • Students are encouraged to get to know each other and form a greater understanding of and appreciation for the diverse population and the world around them • Students feel safe and are more willing to share ideas and explore new content • They form a greater connection to each other and form the ability to accept the ideas and values of others even if they differ from their own
The following checklist developed by Regina Miller and Joan Pedro demonstrates a variety of methods that can be used to establish and show respect in the classroom. IN MY CLASSROOM I • Model appropriate behavior • Am polite to students • Am polite to parents • Am polite to other adults • Set the tone for tolerance and acceptance of people, behavior and ideas • Set high expectations for all my students • Speak directly to my students to show respect and to help them take responsibility for their own behavior • Convey respect when students are speaking in class • Establish guidelines for treating one another with courtesy, allowing others to maintain their sense or dignity and appreciating other’s individuality • Use cooperative learning groups to encourage students to respect and work well with others • Work effectively with all my students regardless of ability level
IN MY CLASSROOM MY STUDENTS • Are polite to their classmates • Are polite to teachers • Treat their classroom and school environment with respect • Listen attentively to each other • Work well together regardless of ethnicity and/or ability
MY CLASSROOM • Has students engaged in studying about individuals who worked to gain respect for others • Contains books for students to read that focus on respect and respectful ways of being with peers, community members, family members, etc. • Has written rules and expectations for students when indoors • Has written rules and expectations for students when outdoors • Has students engages in lessons that infuse the concept of respect
References:Miller, R., & Pedro, J. (2006). Creating Respectful Classroom Environments. Early Childhood Education Journal, 33(5), 293-299. doi:10.1007/s10643-006-0091-1.