19. The 2nd Most Important Teaching Tool
The first most important teaching tool you have is you!
The second most important teaching tool you have is the physical, emotional and mental environment you create in your classroom. This is a powerful, often unconscious educator that can help or detract from your mission as a teacher.
For example, beginning with the physical environment, have you noticed how different colors make you feel; how color influences; how color itself instructs? Some colors are expansive and brightening, other colors are calming and regulating. Some colors are more neutral, other colors are dominant. Which color or colors would have the greatest benefit for the children in your classroom? Experiment!
Variety instructs. Having a variety of media, colors, images, textures, text in the physical environment provides greater range of sensory connection opportunity. Also, doing a classroom makeover with your students whenever the curriculum changes informs and instructs them that something new is happening. It’s refreshing as well!
Light, sound, aroma, air quality, color, texture, spacing – are all subtle teaching tools at the sensory level. The physical environment you work in can be one of your most successful teaching aids with a little conscious tweaking here and there.
More important still is the emotional and mental atmosphere of the classroom. A well lit, well ventilated, brightly colored, non-institutional feeling room with a variety of music playing at different times for different purposes can be a huge help in this department. In addition, the most potent, long lasting impressions are caused by the subtle, often unconscious ways we communicate. These are as important as our conscious and deliberate ways.
- A smile instructs.
- Gestures instruct.
- Posture instructs.
- Speeds instruct. Go slow to go fast!
- Attitude certainly instructs.
- Humor instructs brilliantly!
- Humility instructs. We are not experts! Teachers are students.
- Inspiration, enthusiasm and encouragement instruct.
- Constancy instructs.
- Listening instructs.
- What we prevent and allow, exclude or include…instructs.
And you can see how this list could grow and grow…
Creating a learning atmosphere is an art and a science that can help to facilitate you the teacher in remarkable ways. It is the second most important teaching tool – after you!
If you want to read the article on the first most important teaching tool, go to – Get to Know Yourself