Students on Classroom Learning Environment
Students have shared that they learn best in comfortable and calm classroom environments. These environments can be fun and also foster genuine learning and respectful peer and teacher relationships.
“In order to create a more respectful environment, teachers should pay more attention to how students are treating each other instead of brushing it off or looking away.”
“Every time you go to class you have to put your feelings aside. And it’s especially difficult for teens when their stress piles up, and they feel like they’re going to burst.”
“When I’m in these classrooms, six hours a day, everyone’s quiet. All I can hear is the scribbles of the pencils or the tapping of the keyboards. And that’s it. It’s silent. There’s no music. There’s no laughter. It’s just so dead. And it’s like that for 180 days out of the year.” — Amayra
“Everyone in class is ready to learn…
Well, not really.
It’s just to be there and get an ‘easy’ A.
Having side conversations, not paying attention,
Being on our phones.
Seeing what people post, it’s funny at times.
But at others it just leads to problems.”
“My school gives us opportunities and the confidence to speak up and choose our own path, like with class registration, and then they support those opinions and choices. If I need extra help because I’m struggling with a class or with organizing my classwork, my school helps me create a system that works best for me. I get to choose the best way to make changes for myself, and they support me within those choices. All of these things make it easier to participate and be present in school, because I can do it as my honest self and my school shows me how to succeed from there.” — Briar
“In classes where my teachers recognize the good work that I do, I feel very confident in continuing to do that good work. I feel comfortable taking risks and asking questions, which helps me to learn. I feel safer in the classroom and like there is a community.” — Jaydah
“The class feels like a community because students are comfortable and have a chance to communicate with each other.” — Trish
“Cooperation means learning faster. And when you and your teacher and your classmates are working together like this, it’s like a triangle of good.”— Jonathan
“I have an IEP for math and science and certain requirements I just can’t really get over Zoom. One of these requirements is that I need additional attention while in class. Before the pandemic, if I was sitting in class the teacher would be right there next to me. Not all the time, but if I needed help, he would be right there saying step by step what I needed to do. Now, over Zoom, being in my math class has been kind of stressful. My new teacher just goes super fast and I’m trying to keep up on assignments, but it’s hard. I know that it would be better if I was in class because I need that extra help to make sure I stay on track.”
“I feel like they not only care about the subject matter, but they also care about us. I feel respected and welcomed in the environment, which helps me learn better.”
“It looks very creative. All the students are smiling. It sounds like hearing kids in laughter, teachers having fun and the students are having fun. It was just an involving — It was fun just to be in the class. It feels intriguing because a lot of us, especially me and most of my friends would ask the questions that would add on to what we’d been learning about. Awesome.”
— Focus Group Report
“It feels calm and relaxing. The teacher—you can trust her and stuff, like to learn things…because it actually gives you time to get your mind thinking.”
— Focus Group Student
“Class is often the hardest place to be. I find myself sitting with idle time, unchallenged by content that is required but not an appropriate fit and frustrated when told to ‘just deal with it.’ It makes me feel ignored.”— Chelsea
“Our whole class kind of got into that circle of trust. Not only did this motivate us and help us feel safe to learn. To this day, the friends I made in that class are some of my best friends.”
Video featuring Trish