Positive Classroom Climate

Classroom Interactions and Curriculum Planning Strategies to Promote Positive Classroom Climate


1. Create a Positive Class Environment

  • Be aware of your eye contact and other non-verbal communication in teaching. With eye contact, be sure to scan the room evenly and not focus on one area of the room or another.
  • Be cognizant if you find yourself treating students differently in your expectations and in how you react to their behaviors.
  • Encourage students to ask questions and ensure you are consistent and fair in your responses to them.
  • Call students by name and practice correctly pronouncing names (use phonetics).
  • Get to know students, including their interests and hobbies.
  • Maintain mutual respect and set guidelines for responding to one another.
  • If you have students online and in person at the same time, be sure to include all in your questioning and discussions.


2. Encourage a Growth Mindset

  • Communicate high learning standards and confidence in each student to achieve. (e.g., “Everyone starts class with an A – I know you can keep it – let’s do this!”).
  • Instead of marking what was missed or wrong on a test with a check mark or minus sign, mark what was correct/accurately or done well with a plus sign or positive comments. Then add up the pluses instead of subtracting the minuses.
  • Be transparent and consistent with criteria and grading. For more subjective open-ended assessments, use techniques to minimize bias, such as hiding student names while grading, grading all students’ first essays, then all second essays, using rubrics, and going back to check and re-check scores assigned for consistency.


3. Strive to Provide Access for Instruction and Assistance to All Students

  • Be sure students are aware of resources for assistance at their school including counseling and help with testing and college applications.
  • Ensure the classroom and all class learning materials are accessible to everyone with a focus on universal design.
  • Ensure you understand and fully implement accommodations and 504 plans.


4. Gather and Use Feedback to Refine and Improve Your Strategies

  • Invite a colleague to observe your teaching and provide you with feed back to improve your teaching strategies.
  • Ask a colleague to review your course materials for areas where you can improve your plan for implementing various teaching strategies.
  • Seek resources such as readings and professional development opportunities for continuous learning and guidance.
  • Allow students to provide you with feedback on your teaching and how you can improve and then implement their suggestions as appropriate.


Additional Resources