When Shannon Jarvis was in college, she had to write her Educational Mission. Since college, she has embraced that mission and added the word “spiritual” after becoming the physical education teacher at a Catholic School.
“To create a spiritual and positive learning environment that encourages continuous learning and achievements in Spiritual Growth, Academics, Athletics, Fitness and Healthy Lifestyles.”
Learning never has an end to it; you can learn from both positive and negative experiences. A willingness to learn at anytime and anywhere offers the chance for your classroom atmosphere to become more welcoming and positive. How can you create a positive atmosphere? Ask yourself the following three questions.
- What type of atmosphere do you have in your classes?
- How do your students feel coming and leaving your class?
- What would a visitor’s first impression be if they walked in?
After attending an out of state National basketball tournament, Jarvis found herself in a gym atmosphere that amazed her. When Jarvis returned to her classroom, she got rid of all of her classroom rules and replaced them with a list of expectations.
- We will value one another as unique and special individuals.
We are all created differently, and those differences make individuals unique. Students should embrace each other’s gifts and talents.
- We will not laugh at or make fun of a person’s mistakes, nor use sarcasm or putdowns.
This is important to make sure every student has a successful and positive experience in Physical Education.
- We will use good manners by saying “thank you” and “excuse me” and allow others to go first.
Allowing others to go first can be difficult. Consistently remind your students that it doesn’t matter who is first, second, or last.
- We will cheer each other to success.
The more time students spend cheering on their peers, the less they can spend getting off task.
- We will help one another whenever possible.
Peer teaching puts helping others into practice.
- We will recognize every effort and applaud it.
Students must be compassionate and encouraging towards their peers.
- We will encourage each other to do our best.
Everyone is in it together!
- We will keep God first and let His light shine through us.
Jarvis modified this last expectation to fit the mission of the Catholic school she teaches at. The original last expectation is, “We will practice virtuous living, using the Life Principles”.
Commands and echoes can also add structure and make your classroom a positive environment. Commands and echoes can be used to get students attention and start and stop activities. These calls and formations allow students to spend more time being active.
Jarvis reminds her students that the core of these expectations is respect. In order to keep this positive energy within her classroom, she consistently reminds her students that every choice they make will have a consequence, either positive or negative.
You can watch the full Webinar Effective Class Management on our website!
Webinar Presenter: Shannon Jarvis has taught a combination of eleven years at both public and parochial schools. She has also taught group fitness classes to all ages, cardio kickboxing and water aerobics are her favorite. Jarvis enjoys impacting all ages in a variety of settings and help make a difference physically, mentally, and spiritually.