Your Classroom Culture: 12 Questions to Ask Yourself

Every classroom has a culture. Some aspects of your classroom culture might have evolved organically, while others have been carefully planned and implemented. You may be pleased with some aspects of your classroom culture and not so pleased with others. As the teacher, you are the primary architect of your classroom culture. For that reason, it may be good to reflect a bit and see if what you have created is working in the ways that you had planned.

 

Classroom culture is one of the most important aspects of your classroom, and as the teacher, you are largely responsible for curating and cultivating it. This short blog post provides you with 12 questions to ask yourself about the state of your classroom culture and how it can be improved, so click through to get the list.

With that in mind, I offer these questions for reflection:

  1. What are five adjectives that describe my classroom culture?
  2. How do my students feel about school?
  3. How do my students feel about each other? How well do they work together?
  4. Do we “gel?” Do we feel like a cohesive group?
  5. Is my class a safe place to take academic risks?
  6. Are questions, creativity, originality, and new ideas welcome?
  7. What values are important in my classroom – respect? tolerance? trustworthiness? self-control? kindness?
  8. What behaviors are important in my classroom – trying your best? following directions? staying on task? helping others?
  9. What motivates my students to do their work or behave appropriately?
  10. How are discipline issues handled in my classroom? What is the result of this strategy?
  11. What makes my classroom special and unique? What are students likely to remember 20 years from now?
  12. Other than academics, what are three things I hope my students learn from being in my class?

Were any of these questions particularly helpful? Do you have more to add? Please share with a comment.

20 Questions to Ask Students
Social and Emotional Learning SEL for Elementary Students

6 thoughts on “Your Classroom Culture: 12 Questions to Ask Yourself”

  1. I am Bullyproof Music

    What great questions! No need to teach on automatic when each classroom has its own special form of harmony!

  2. These are great -especially to think about right before getting a new class. Something I've tried to do over the last few years – When a student brings me work that is subpar what I really want to say is "Does this look like 2nd grade work?" or "Did you hear any of the directions I gave?" BUT what I've actually saying is "What do you think we could do to make this better?" Sometimes they just stare at me, sometimes they say 'I don't know' but usually they have at least one suggestion because they know they didn't try very hard. So I put them to work on their own suggestion – it has helped keep me calmer and lets the student reflect on their own work.

  3. I especially liked question #12.
    It’s always nice when students come back and visit with you, share the difference you have made in their lives, and your advice they continue to take with them as they ride into their future.

  4. Pingback: Build Classroom Community - A Giant List of Ideas! - Minds in Bloom

  5. Mark Anderson

    What are five adjectives that describe my classroom culture? Action, Hands-on, Relaxed, Easy-going, Accepting, high expectations
    How do my students feel about school? Many of my students do not like school but enjoy my classes because they are hands-on and skill based
    How do my students feel about each other? How well do they work together?
    Do we “gel?” Do we feel like a cohesive group?
    Is my class a safe place to take academic risks?
    Are questions, creativity, originality, and new ideas welcome?
    What values are important in my classroom – respect? tolerance? trustworthiness? self-control? kindness?
    What behaviors are important in my classroom – trying your best? following directions? staying on task? helping others? I expect my students to try their best and follow directions especially safety in the shop. I don’t mind mistakes, but when a student is lazy or just doesn’t do the work that makes me furious.
    What motivates my students to do their work or behave appropriately? Honestly, I think it is the relationship that I build with my students. I spend a lot of time at the beginning of the course and during the year creating a positive atmosphere and relationship with each student. This helps them want to do well in my class. Also, as an elective I think most of the students want to be in and do well in my class.
    How are discipline issues handled in my classroom? What is the result of this strategy?
    What makes my classroom special and unique? What are students likely to remember 20 years from now?
    Other than academics, what are three things I hope my students learn from being in my class? That you can have fun while learning. Its ok to be themselves…we are all different and have different likes, ideas, etc. and that is ok.

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