Teachers: Create a Classroom Where Students Feel Like they Belong

Based on Richard Sagor’s article Lessons From Skateboarders, students generated Thinking Maps about how they can experience Competency, Belonging, Usefulness, Potency, and Optimism (CBUPO) inside our classroom.

Sagor asked, “What encourages humans to invest in difficult undertakings?” He discovered that everyone needs CBUPO in order to be motivated to do what’s hard. School is hard, so both students and teachers need to have as much CBUPO in place as is humanly possible.

 We start with discussing how we can foster an atmosphere where all students feel competent, useful, potent, optimistic, and especially a sense of BELONGING in a classroom!
JOY means that we are glad to be together, so we spend time getting to know one another and creating an atmosphere conducive to fostering student connection.

We explore the elements that cause student connection as well as the effects on the learning environment when students feel connected to themselves, to each other, and to their teacher.
We use the Multi-flow Map (which is a cause/effect Thinking Map) to establish what causes students to feel like they are Competent as well as the effects of that feeling of competency on the classroom environment. We also complete this process for Belonging, Usefulness, Potency, and Optimism.
Together, we further explore what it will mean to THRIVE in our classroom this school year. This discussion leads us to create classroom norms instead of rules.
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Have a teacher in your life? Give them Shelia’s book on spreading joy!

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