Creating a classroom community seems to be the latest “buzz” word as it is popping up in all of my classes this semester. I was lucky enough to take a session entitled “Creating Community: Curriculum in Kind” during the (E)merging Professionalism Conference at the beginning of the month. This session, lead by Karen Lind and Wendy Willis (two great professors at the U of R) focused on strategies for building relationships in the classroom. Although I learnt a lot about how to go about creating community, I walked away with some lingering questions about the burning need for community in a differentiated classroom. Today I had an “Aha! Moment” I felt like I had put the pieces of the puzzle together after reading a Chapter from Social Studies for Social Justice and participating in an a community circle discussion with my peers. Even in a differentiated classroom where students are busy working in small groups on various tasks that meet their own learning needs, without a strong sense of classroom community they are not able take risks in a safe environment. To put it simply, when students don’t feel safe for any reason, they cannot learn.
AHA! See the importance of classroom community?!