How’s the quality of your CCQ? [Class Climate Quotient]
Have you noticed that when you walk into a room of people, you get an immediate feel for the emotional climate of your surroundings? And that the emotional climate directly impacts your behavior in that environment? Teachers, take heed. This small nugget of information has huge implications in the school setting.
As students enter classrooms towards the beginning of the year their emotional radars are on high alert. If they feel safe, they let their guard down and are open to taking in new information. However, if they feel threatened, the affective filter in their brains shuts down and this initial assessment can leave a lasting imprint on their behaviors.
Simple strategies go a long way in establishing a safe and welcoming climate – Greeting students at the door, playing music, modeling a positive demeanor, encouraging movement and discussion. These rituals help students feel comfortable in the learning environment, and accordingly, be more open to our teaching efforts.
If the main goal in our classrooms is for students to learn new information and grow cognitively, we must remember this won’t happen if we don’t establish a positive CCQ. Maya Angelou, Carl Buehner and others have summed it up well: “They may forget what we say – but they will never forget how we made them feel.”