Ideal Growing Conditions

student watering plantsIf you ask an agronomist about ideal growing conditions, you will likely receive a detailed answer that includes information about soil types, soil nutrition, moisture, temperature, sunlight exposure, and other similar matters.  Each of these items plays a specific and significant role in creating the proper environment for the complex nature of seed germination and growth.

Are there classroom conditions that are ideal for student growth?  There are many elements within every classroom that contribute to student growth.  Bringing the following four elements into your classroom can help create the ideal environment for student growth: 

  1. Relationships with respect.  The importance of relationships with students cannot be overstated.  An atmosphere of respect – one in which mutual respect is evident in teacher-student relationships and student-student relationships – is essential for student growth.  
  2. Rigor with relevance.  Students need to be challenged with content.  Adding relevance – connecting the content with the real lives students lead – can further engage students and motivate them to learn. 
  3. Risk with reward.  Students need to feel free to take risks in your classroom.  They need to feel good about trying new things and exploring areas outside of their respective comfort zones.  Adding an extrinsic reward (a sticker, praise, etc.) or acknowledging the intrinsic value of the effort will motivate students to take additional risks for the sake of learning. 
  4. Results with recognition.  Every person needs to be recognized for the results he or she produces.  Incorporating a recognition system into your classroom will encourage students to keep learning and working diligently within your classroom.

As you prepare for next week, think about how these elements for growth can be incorporated into your classroom.  You and your students will be glad you did!

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