Keys to a Warm and Inviting Classroom

Author: Rich Atkinson


First Impressions Steer the Year

“Bonjour, Class.”

“Bonjour, Madame,” we replied.

My high school French teacher began every class with a smile and a greeting. She adopted vital components for making her class warm and inviting. A warm and inviting classroom is more than a friendly demeanor, but it’s a great place to start!

A warm and inviting classroom

Besides teaching us how to speak and write French, she immersed us in the culture with class activities and assignments: reading Le Petite Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, listening to French music Le Petit Pain au Chocolat by Joe Dassin, watching the movie Les Umbrellas de Cherbourg, and assigning reports about artists like George Seurat.

Another key to conveying a warm and inviting atmosphere is decorating your room so students devour the subject you are teaching.

As you teach history, transport your students back in time. If it’s a Roaring Twenties lesson, explain the overall highlights of the 1920s in a large group setting. Next, have students move through hands-on learning discovery zones based on the three learning styles: auditory, visual, or kinesthetic.

In zone one, students listen to jazz music from the era. In zone two, students watch a film about women being allowed to vote or view a silent movie.

In zone three, have a simple battery-operated light turn on with a switch. After students flip the switch, they can read about how only sixty percent of the U.S. had electricity then. Students come together as a large group at the end of class and share what they thought or learned.

Here are a few more tips for making your class inviting:

  • Remember your students’ names and use them often.
  • Enforce class rules by correcting with kindness, and avoid raising your voice. This will help you keep a calm atmosphere.
  • Show you care for your students by asking meaningful, open-ended questions.

First impressions could steer your school year in the right direction. For more information about how you can make a positive impact as a teacher, read the blog post 8 Ways Teachers Change the World.

About the Author

Rich Atkinson

Rich Atkinson began his writing career with a community paper in Ohio.

He has worked for a magazine. Travel assignments have taken him outside the country to Haiti and Guatemala. In the U.S., he has journeyed to Atlanta, Boston, Milwaukee, and many other places for feature stories.

When not writing, Rich finds time to read and enjoys listening to authors discuss writing on podcasts and in YouTube videos.

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