#MASSPchat 11/21 - Classroom Culture

Ben Mainka's picture

The Topic:
As educators, we often spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about new strategies, programs, and techniques to reach our students. While those things cannot be neglected, we sometimes overlook the immense power that the environment and culture in your classroom plays in the learning process. As we think meaningfully about our work, let us reflect about the culture in our classrooms and chat about ways to encourage a powerful culture within each learning environment.

Meet Our Moderator:
Benjamin J.A. Mainka (@BenMainka) is MASSP's Associate Director. Ben began his educational career teaching science at Millennium Middle School in South Lyon, MI and coached three varsity sports. He went on to become the Assistant Principal at Fowlerville High School in Fowlerville, MI. After serving in that capacity, Ben took on the challenge of being the Fowlerville Junior High Principal before heading to Hartland High School where he served as the Principal prior to joining MASSP. Ben has spoken at numerous conferences and venues, written a handful of popular articles, and continues to be a huge advocate for education in our state.

This Week's Questions:

  1. How do you or your teachers ensure that all students feel equally valued and respected in each classrooms?
  2. How do you send the message in a classroom that it is "safe" but maintain critical thinking and respectful disagreement?
  3. What are some things a teacher can do to elevate a student view of themselves as a learner?
  4. What are some ideas to help teachers build relationships with students other than just asking them about their hobbies and interests?
  5. When someone is put down or devalued, how does the teacher respond effectively?
  6. Are there ways to organize and use our classrooms to encourage "community" and collaboration?