The class meeting is one of the most powerful tools a teacher has to ensure that a positive learning environment is created and maintained throughout the academic year. Many teachers mistakenly think that Class Meetings are only a tool for problem-solving after something has happened. While this is the perfect time to hold a Class Meeting, there are many, many other times a Class Meeting can be useful. It might make sense to view these other times as opportunities or as prevention strategies to use before something happens.
Classroom meetings can be used for a variety of purposes such as Connection, Planning, Goal-Setting, Problem Solving, Assessing/Evaluating. Classroom meetings build empathy, self esteem, cooperation, children’s involvement and ownership of classroom life. Additionally class meetings are opportunities for students to build communication skills and assume responsibilities.
Building blocks for an effective class meeting:
• a physical environment that differs from the usual classroom setup, i.e., circular seating
• an introduction that includes compliments and appreciations
• an agenda and everyone knows what it is
• a chance to provide good communication skills
• a toleration of differing perspectives and opinions
• recognition of needs-based motivation
• an opportunity to role play
• focus on non-punitive actions