Creating A Thriving Learning Environment Essay

929 words - 4 pages

Creating a learning environment that maximises learning and teaching in any classroom can be a task in itself, let alone creating a successful learning environment within an inclusive education setting. There are however numerous ways to do this with both advantages and difficulties in implementing such a curriculum; it seems an overwhelming experience, especially as a new teacher.
Foreman (2008) likens the classroom environment to an ecosystem to which there are four interconnecting dynamics; teacher factors, student factors, curriculum and resource factors and physical setting factors. These four factors provide many ways that teachers can set up the learning environment to maximise the occurrence of teaching and learning, however it is both my belief and experience that there is a major focus on teacher factors. The reason for this I believe is that it is the actual teacher who implements and practices inclusive education. It is not that I consider any of these factors are more important than another; but I have recently witnessed firsthand how important relational factors are in order to create and continue successful learning and teaching environments that cater for all students.
Dynamic relationships are central in providing a thriving classroom (Greenspan, 2005). This is supported by Frieberg’s model of Consistency Management and Cooperative Discipline (Ashman & Elkins, 2008) which suggests classrooms should be built on support and trust, for these are the foundations that facilitate and nurture relationships between teachers, families, students, colleagues, stakeholders and the community. However, problems can arise in many aspects of the classroom environment if relationships aren’t formed and nurtured, such as a lack of understanding of student strengths and weaknesses, lack of support from parents and the community and even feelings of isolation and incompetence if support networks aren’t established in the professional environment. From experience in my current practicum classroom I have seen my mentor teacher strive to establish and maintain relationships in order to provide a positive and successful learning environment. This has shown me that although building relationships is essential to the inclusive classroom (Ashman & Elkins, 2008)building and maintaining these relationships can be quite a stressful time, especially as a new teacher where the feelings of being overwhelmed and judged will be present. . Negative experiences of family members can also prove to be a difficulty in the development of relationships. My mentor teacher has got a classroom this year that includes two students that require full time teacher aides. This is the first year that she has had to include a student who is wheelchair bound and one who has a visual, speech language and hearing impairments. I have seen her become overwhelmed at having to maximise the learning environment as well as directing up to four different adults plus parent helpers in one...

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