Not every student is learning in the classroom. Numerous distractions stand between the teacher’s message and the student’s ears. In addition to the physical layout of the classroom, factors such as feedback from peers and the instructor can either hinder or improve a student’s ability to absorb information. It is the instructor’s duty to make the classroom environment conducive to learning.
When teaching, the instructor should present complex ideas in a way that is easy to grasp. For example, he should explain mathematical practices in a step-by-step fashion and avoid jumping to the next step before the students are comfortable. The use of visual aids, such as graphs, video clips and in-class demonstrations, increase the students’ memory retention. The use of hands-on activities, such as games and group projects, is also conducive to learning. During each lesson, the instructor should explain why the information is relevant to the students outside of the classroom. Students are more motivated to learn when they can personally apply the new knowledge.
The instructor should remain patient with students and provide positive feedback. These behaviors encourage student participation and lower classroom stress. The stress created by a harsh and demanding instructor distracts students from learning. The instructor must also possess flexible teaching habits because students may have different ways of learning. Too much lecturing, rather than direct interaction with students, creates a dull classroom environment.
Independent thought is encouraged, so students may disagree during classroom discussions. Through debates, students will explore multiple perspectives on an issue, while defending their own. The students should be respectful, as to not discourage one another from sharing thoughts and opinions. The instructor should concretely discourage rude commentary and bullying.
Students learn more when the group size is smaller. A small class allows the instructor to see to the needs of each individual student, rather than lecturing to a crowd filled with questions. The room temperature should be comfortable; a room that is too hot or too cold will distract the students. In addition, the room should be colorful and decorated, but not to the point that the walls are stealing attention. The classroom should contain educational tools, such as maps, globes, rulers, reference books, calculators and charts, that are organized and readily available.