The rising educator identifies and evaluates successful strategies for implementing and sustaining the critical components of equitable classroom culture in a learning space.
Skilled educators accept responsibility for planning and delivering instruction that brings the five critical components described below to life for all learners.
At times, external factors beyond the classroom walls will affect an educator’s ability to sustain all five critical components. Skilled educators find ways wherever possible to ensure that these five critical components are present in all aspects of classroom culture.
When asking students to explore issues of personal and social identity, teachers must provide safe spaces in which students are seen, valued, cared for, and respected. It is also important that students have opportunities to learn from one another’s varied experiences and perspectives. To create this learning environment, teachers need to skillfully draw on student experiences to enrich the curriculum.
Without saying a word, classrooms send messages about diversity, relationship building, communication, and the roles of teachers and students. The classroom setup should be student-centered. Specifics will vary from teacher to teacher and class to class, but common elements include the following:
Dialogue is more than conversation. It is also different than debates, in which someone wins and someone loses. Dialogue requires openness to new ideas and collective learning. This is not an easy practice; for students (and teachers) to engage in dialogue, they must build and exercise specific skills:
Creating a safe climate takes time and work. These are some of the most important components:
Classroom management is central to classroom culture. Classroom management systems must support safe, inclusive communities by promoting high standards for respectful interaction; incorporating student-generated classroom norms; teaching conflict resolution; and actively addressing all instances of bias, bullying, exclusion, or disrespect.
Disciplinary incidents must transition from punishment to opportunities for growth, restitution, and community building. For community respect to be a core classroom value, students should not be cast out of the group but rather given the support needed to be positive, contributing members of their classroom community.
Finally, classroom management practices must reflect fairness, equity, and cultural awareness.
It is recommended that rising educators visit the same learning environment (and not their own classrooms where they are students) as observers at least two times for at least 40 minutes per visit. These observations will form the source material for demonstrating what the rising educator learned about classroom culture in the micro-credential submission.
The learning environment that the rising educator will observe does not need to be one he/she visited prior to working on the micro-credential submission. As an observer, the rising educator will be a “fly on the wall” taking detailed notes through the lens of critical practices to support classroom culture.
The rising educator should seek to earn this micro-credential after developing a deep understanding of the five critical components to support a sustainable, equitable classroom culture.
This micro-credential is aligned to the following Educators Rising Standards:
I. Understanding the Profession
II. Learning About Students
VII. Engaging in Reflective Practice
To complete the application for this micro-credential, the rising educator will complete the Educators Rising Classroom Culture submission form. To earn the micro-credential, the rising educator must earn a score of “Highly Skilled” or “Commendable” on all components of the Part 1, 2, and 3 rubrics. If the rising educator does not earn the micro-credential, he/she is encouraged to reflect on where the submission fell short, address those areas successfully per the rubric, and resubmit. Remember to download the Educators Rising Classroom Culture submission form for compiling your submission here: http://bit.ly/EdRisingClassCulture
Observation Notes: Visits 1 and 2
Use the spaces on the submission form to write what you observed during your visits to the learning spaces. Your notes should relate directly to the critical components in each section.
Tips to make your note-taking most effective:
Compose a reflective essay using the following guiding questions (500-word maximum; use the provided submission form).
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