Classrooms are sacred places for our youth. This is where the foundational skills needed to graduate and reach their personal goals are established. Students who have solid foundations easily stand out in a crowd. Their Life Ready Skills speak loudly and clearly about the experiences in their learning environments. Equity plays a major role in student success. Access to educational resources and lack of cultural identification are just a few of the issues with equity and education.
It is evident when these experiences are lacking in students from Life Ready Skills to academic gaps that are often difficult to fill as they move through their educational journey. Investing in educational equity is crucial to student success. It demonstrates to students how much we value and care about them through acknowledgment of who they are, from where they come, and where they are headed. As educators, we must work tirelessly to ensure all children in our care are well equipped for what life may hold for them, be it college, the workforce, or military service.As educators, we must work tirelessly to ensure all children in our care are well equipped for what life may hold for them, be it college, the workforce, or military service. Click To Tweet
One of the biggest ways to positively impact equity is through campus and classroom environments created by educators. The environment or space within students and teacher experience learning speaks volumes and has an everlasting effect. A quote by Haim Ginott, renowned educator and child psychologist/psychotherapist, helps drive home the understanding of how an environment can be shaped by its leaders. “I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate.”
The classroom climate is often described as a culture by those in the field. Classroom culture is an essential tool that teachers can use to nurture skills like Critical Thinking, Autonomy, and Collaboration. It can also affect the results of Best Practices implemented by teachers within the classroom such as Assessment and Formative Feedback, Growth Mindset, and Differentiation and Scaffolding.
When an investment is made to understand students’ backgrounds, powerful connections and relationships are built and changes the climate in which a child has to develop. This loving environment can have lasting impacts and aid in increased student success. Below are a few ways to show some love and support to the students you serve. Choose something to establish as a norm on your campus or in your classroom. With minor changes in educational practice, we can impact students in a substantial way!
- Choose cultural text that relates to a student’s background,
- Use background music to teach acceptance (switch genres to expose students to different sounds),
- Allow students to request and receive help in a one-on-one or small group setting (e2L calls them workshops),
- Allow a student to lead peers in learning a skill or skill set (i.e. use of technology app),
- Create an incentive program where a LIFE ready skill is awarded (Autonomy, Growth Mindset, etc.), and
- Allow students to show mastery of a concept outside of an exam or paper (Poem, Speech, Rap, or Video).