This is a good article on strategies for building positive learning environment. Establishing good relationships from the first day, clearly communicating your instruction and building trust by allowing students to make decisions in their learning will definitely help to build a positive learning environment. Creating this positive learning environment will help students have a sense of belonging, motivation and commitment in their learning.
I think that as instructors we want to provide a respectful, caring, positive environment for our learners. We know that learners perform better under these conditions. We want our students to feel safe in making mistakes because that’s where learning takes place. Building a sense of community always makes students feel more involved and a better sense of belonging in the program.
This is a great video on multiple ways of creating a positive learning environment from various educators. Some opinions include providing a safe, enthusiastic environment, while another views a positive environment as being organized and engaging. Getting acquainted with their students near the beginning, learning their names and letting students know that you value their contribution to class. It’s interesting that there are so many varying ideas of how to create a positive learning environment. There’s not just one way to create this, there are several. It seems that it’s a personal preference on how to create the positive learning environment that we all want to achieve.
There will always be messy days. Some days are definitely better than others. Watching students struggle and getting frustrated is all part of their learning process. I know it’s difficult to watch or take part in, but the results will come. I remind my students that sometimes taking small steps to reach your goal is better than not taking any at all. This uncomfortable feeling is never easy for anyone, but if it’s found in a safe/positive learning environment, learning will take place.
I feel the most important instructional strategy for me is providing a positive learning environment. I work very hard to provide my students with this at every lesson. Sometimes it’s exhausting looking for that small piece of positive feedback to provide, but it’s energy well spent.