In a Responsive Classroom
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In a Responsive Classroom


[ music plays ] Teacher:
We’re more effective teachers if we know our students. If we know what their interests are, we can begin to build a relationship with them. The teacher’s relationship with the student is key to a successful year for that child. Teacher:
One thing that I have learned with Responsive Classroom is that the start of the day sets the tone . . .
and teachers don’t know what happened with these students prior to walking down that hallway and coming into your classroom. I look for signs on their faces, and it tells me, okay, something is going on with this kid, and the Morning Meeting sets the tone.
They need to hear that positive language, they need those reminders, and the activities get them sharing
with each other, so . . . incorporating the Morning Meeting and adopting that has definitely been nothing but positive. The trust level is, I think, the most important thing here, because our students have no problem- they’re able to say,
“I don’t understand what you’re talking about.” There’s always a kid who’s not going to feel comfortable saying, “I don’t get you,” and so they get lost. I don’t feel like our kids get lost,
because of the community we build. I think the only way you’re going to see growth academically is if kids feel safe enough to be able to do things independently. And they can’t do things independently if they don’t know what you expect. There’s no structure and safety for a lot of our kids outside of our room. So, this is a place where at least they know what’s going to happen, from the time they walk in the room, until the time they leave, and the same thing’s going to happen tomorrow. So, this room’s always safe. Teacher:
When we first start the year, we’re doing a lot of activities . . . games and songs . . . to learn names. We’re really working hard at recognizing people, learning names and learning little things about each other.
They’re developing their sense of how to be in a group, and how to share things . . . Teacher:
I know that if the children are friendly to each other, if expectations are clear, if they have that purposeful learning tone in the classroom, that we will go so much further with the curriculum ultimately. [ music continues ]

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