Support your staff, students, and families with technology - Classroom climate encompasses the overall emotional and social atmosphere of a classroom. It includes all of the attitudes, relationships, and interactions among students, teachers, support staff, and administrators— as well as factors within the physical environment. A positive classroom climate is essential for success in the classroom and beyond.
How Does Classroom Climate Impact Special Education?
A classroom’s climate plays a significant role in special education. A healthy, positive environment supports each student’s academic growth and holistic development. However, a positive classroom environment reaches beyond the students’ success to include efficacious outcomes for educators and families as well.
Some of the benefits of a positive class climate include:
- Academic success and mastery of Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals
- High job satisfaction and low attrition for special education teachers and support staff
- Increased parental engagement
- Strong emotional well-being and improved behavior outcomes
- Feelings of inclusion and value
3 Strategies to Improve Classroom Climate Using Technology
Educators and administrators can significantly impact classroom climate by implementing technology tailored to the needs of the exceptional or special education department. Let’s review three main areas of focus to improve classroom climate.
- Start with your staff: It all starts by supporting your staff. The special education team is only as effective as the tools, guidance, and support they receive. Job satisfaction, student outcomes, and teacher retention are all interconnected. When educators are satisfied with their jobs, they are less likely to burnout or resign; therefore, are better able to maintain consistency and efficacy for their students. Administrators can utilize technology to make teachers’ jobs easier and more enjoyable, allowing them to improve student outcomes. Reducing administrative duties and paperwork by streamlining procedures and eliminating busy work can significantly improve job satisfaction. Providing tools that facilitate assessments, alignment of curriculum, and assignment of resources helps educators establish a clear and actionable pathway to success.
- Support your students: Educators who are well supported can focus on thoroughly supporting their students, thus creating a positive learning environment. Utilizing software tailored for special education can make all the difference. Tailored software to streamline assessments, IEP writing, and data collection, with individualized assistive technologies, helps educators meet each student’s unique needs.
Educators can assess and support the holistic development of their students by looking beyond academic goals. Use digital tools to record data on a wide range of goals, including behavioral and socio-emotional needs.
- Keep families informed: Another key aspect of a child’s education that cannot be overlooked is parental involvement. Enhancing transparency and improving ongoing communication between families and educators can greatly improve outcomes. Educators can utilize a digital platform to offer parents a clear picture of their child’s progress, current goals, assessment results, and more. Keeping communication in one primary location helps families feel supported and in the loop. Parents want to feel confident that their child is in a safe and supportive environment where they will learn and thrive across all domains of life. Maintaining collaboration with families helps make sure this happens.
In our extended Special Education Guide: 3 Ways to Improve Classroom Climate, we outline strategies for achieving positive classroom climates. Learn more about using technology to support all members of your educational teams for improved outcomes.