Teachers are learning to listen at a professional development session, as they train to develop responsive classrooms.
“It’s a teacher’s approach on how we can build a sense of . . . belonging,” said Michelle Benson, responsive classroom consultant.
According to Erwin Middle School Assistant Principal Jessica Allen, responsive classrooms are not a program but a retraining of teaching methods and styles. It takes practice for teachers to think carefully about their words, tone of voice, and how students are affected.
“If we’re having behavior issues, well, is it a behavior issue or is it an expectation we haven’t been clear about?” Renee Fox, a teacher asked.
Allen says that it’s about teachers in the building making the school a place where students feel safe.
“Adolescents have a rough time of it and are scared of taking risks,” she said.