Ingrained in my teaching philosophy is the idea that when students walk in the door of my classroom, I want them to feel safe and I want them to feel like they matter as a part of our class community. In the syllabus I created for my first teaching placement, I made it a point to use inclusive language to show students that learning is a process students and teachers go through together.
On the very first day of my placement, I asked each class to come up with their own set of classroom rules that they would like to abide by. While students were a little taken aback by this assignment, most felt appreciative that I had taken the time to allow them to establish a set of principles that they had chosen to follow. I gave students the option to sign these rules and the majority of them did. Because we had established these rules together, myself or other students would refer back to them when a classmate was not being respectful of the guidelines they had created as a class.
The last student artifact I have included for Classroom Environment shows how students were encourage to respond to a prompt on the white board. By doing so, students collaborated with their classmates and then shared responses with the class, knowing that they would have the opportunity to explain their answer and provide insight into how they interpreted a specific prompt. I really enjoyed this activity because it also allowed for students to constructively critique their classmates and engage in their own learning by asking questions of the comments written on the board.