Building community in your classroom is arguably one of the most important aspects of teaching. I could lecture you on the brain science that supports this, but if you are affiliated with The Educator Academy you’ve probably already heard it.
Instead, I’d like to share a tool that has changed my classroom and made community a priority in my room: classroom meetings. Classroom meetings have been crucial in noticing behaviors (not judging), setting and holding students accountable to expectations, giving students a voice, and building problem solving skills. With classroom meetings, students feel invested in the expectations set, know what success looks like and sounds like, and feel that consequences are fair and predictable.
Use them frequently in the beginning of the year whenever students struggle to meet expectations, and trust me that it will pay off ten-fold throughout the year!
Peaceful Class Meeting Script
- Address the problem – “I’ve noticed ____. This is a problem for me because _____”
- Encourage – “Has anyone in the class noticed this? Is it a problem for you too?”
- Find Alternatives – “So the problem is ____. Our goal / class rule / commitment is to ___. What could we do differently to solves this problem and create a safe classroom for everyone?”
- Consensus – “Our goal is to _______. So, as a class family we will ________.”
- Evaluate – “How will we know when the problem is solved? What will we see? What will it sound like? What is the consequence if we can’t meet this goal?”
Looking for content to dive deeper into this topic? Check out these links below for further readings and resources related to this topic.
- Quick Video- Class Meeting– a short 6 minute video about Classroom Meetings with an example. This is a great quick watch to see it in action!Medium Read- A list of 5 articles supporting positive relationships between school culture and student achievement.Deep Dive- Conscious Discipline by Dr. Becky Bailey (My behavior management Bible)
About the Author: Morgan Strabo is a 5th grade teacher at the Kansas City International Academy and a proud member of Cohort 4. She is an avid reader, enjoys time with her daughter, Winnie, and get-togethers of any kind. She is a passionate collaborator and loves talking with other teachers about improving our craft!