What Are Classroom Dynamics?
Classroom dynamics involves the interaction between students and teachers in a classroom community. The purpose of studying classroom dynamics is to learn how to set up a positive classroom atmosphere where students feel comfortable learning and communicating with other students and with the teacher. Good classroom dynamics consist in the engagement of everybody in the classroom. This is not a completely natural situation, so it must be set up according to a plan.
Every classroom needs a behavioral code to maintain order. Students will never feel comfortable to express themselves in a classroom without rules. Teachers should inform students from the beginning of the class what their behavioral expectations are for them. It helps if they also have a discussion to get feedback from the students about the rules and to clarify any confusion. When a student breaks a rule, it is important that the teachers follow through with the predetermined consequences.
Some students are not naturally motivated to learn within the constraints of a classroom. Every classroom must out of necessity have slightly different dynamics because they all consist of different students. Each student has his own interests and talents, so each classroom should be flexible enough to accommodate the individuality of its students. Students are more motivated when they feel that the classroom dynamics focus on their goals and interests.
Some classes isolate, embarrass or exclude a particular gender from the classroom by the activities or by the discussions. For instance, a medical student named Julie Switzer was listening to a lecture on muscle contractions of the uterus and then addressed a classroom saying, “You may never feel this, but your wife will.” The teacher was isolating half of her class who were women by addressing the men in the class. The male gender is similarly isolated or excluded in classrooms. Proper classroom dynamics will include both genders and be mindful of their different needs.
Good classroom dynamics will include all students in its activities and discussions. Teachers must show an interest in every individual student and encourage her to participate in the classroom. Classroom participation is not, however, only about the students. The teacher has to be willing to participate fully in class discussions and activities to create lively and dynamic classroom dynamics. A teacher that merely goes on teaching the material without noticing whether the students are understanding it has a major problem with classroom dynamics.