Every single job role comes with responsibilities, but regardless of how big or small these responsibilities are, one of the most important ways in which to ensure both staff and students are motivated, happy and hardworking, is by establishing a creative work environment that’s efficient in inspiring productivity and satisfaction. If an employee or student regards their working environment as a good or positive one, this means that they’re comfortable and secure in what’s expected from them within that space. With this in mind, it’s so important for educational establishments to create and nurture a healthy work environment in order to attract the best talent in terms of employees and to encourage students at the same time.
Every teacher knows that a safe, clean, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing classroom can stimulate learning and help build a strong community within the educational space. But for many teachers, setting up the physical environment of their classrooms can be quite daunting, especially when faced with older buildings, crowded classrooms and insufficient storage space. You can make the most of your classroom environment by carefully considering your needs and the needs of your students.
Do the materials, furniture and resources available serve the overall purpose of those in your care? For the environment that you’re working, teaching or learning in to be effective, it must provide all necessary resources for anyone using the space.
By providing an effective working environment, teachers and employees alike will find that the level of absenteeism will be lower and level of productivity will be higher. All of this, however, is no good without actually creating an effective work environment. So let’s take a deeper look at how this can be achieved.
Good communication is the cornerstone of an effective working environment. Two-way communication between peers and across hierarchical lines should always be promoted within the workplace and classroom. Communication promotes idea-generation and creativity through valuing each individual and their perspectives.
In regards to student productivity, communication within a classroom must be clear and articulate in order to really create an effective space for young learners. It’s important to encourage discussion and feedback in order for students to feel valued and respected.
In terms of an educational environment, as a teacher, it’s your job to empower both staff members and students in order to get the most from them. Empowerment is so important in order to provide colleagues and students with the confidence and motivation needed to make decisions and plan and manage their work load.
Giving individuals as much freedom as possible empowers them to tap into their creativity. Everyone likes a certain amount of freedom, especially in the classroom. Empowering students lets them know that you respect them and trust them in their work. However, always remember that there are boundaries and a level of structure that must remain.
Performance related rewards are an excellent way to keep students motivated in their work. Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool that should not be underestimated in education – with both employees and students.
Positive reinforcement demonstrates that you care about your students and colleagues; it boosts morale, encouraging them to do better; it helps create a competitive but determined environment within the classroom. Acknowledge hard work as much as possible as students, and colleagues will feel good when rewarded for their efforts. All these factors will combine to form a positive and healthy – and not to forget, a competitive – working environment.
Not everyone likes to work in a team, so in a classroom setting, encourage and nurture team spirit among students. This will help to shape individuals for the future when it comes to careers.
There are statistics to show that people are at their most efficient when they work in teams – in both the workplace and classroom. Putting individuals in teams not only draws their best from them but also encourages creativity, unity and some friendly competition.
A positive working environment is essential when it comes to creating an effective, productive and happy space to learn. It can have a large bearing on the attitude and productivity of students in addition to their ability to work well as part of a team and as an individual.
While aesthetics may seem like minor aspects, good lighting, the right temperature and a limit on noise levels can help establish a comfortable workplace and classroom.
A healthy, efficient and positive work environment is a big part of the organizational and educational culture. Mutual respect and communication are two of the most important parts of any working environment whether you’re a CEO for a large company or the teacher of seven-year-old students.
Read our blog "5 Steps to retaining Stellar Teachers"