A teacher should always provide a safe and supportive environment for the students to learn. This could be
achieved before the class even begins by first of all checking the room over prior to the students arrival.
You could rearrange the room so it maximises interaction, e.g. placing the seats in a circle so everyone can
participate; and minimise risk e.g no trailing wires, no chemicals or sharp objects lying around; this is
obviously depending on the environment and the subject being taught.
When the lesson commences ground rules should primarily be established. It is good to lay out what a
tutor expects from the students and in turn find out what their expectations are. When these are discussed
within the group it can also act as an ice-breaker. During the discussion you should never force someone to
speak; some people are naturally shy and could find they are taken out of their ’comfort zone’; instead they
should be gently coaxed into the conversation. Students should be encouraged not to talk over others;
everyone has different views and opinions and this should be respected; no-one should be made to feel
’stupid’ or that their views are worthless. You should therefore enable a student to speak honestly and
Its is also good practice to give examples of your own experiences; whether it was good or bad and explain
what the outcome was. It has been proven that students relate and learn better when their tutor is seen as
’human’ rather than a figure of authority.
Ground rules are not always black and white. For example, if you have a no mobile phone rule you may
have a student who is having personnel difficulties and they need to be contactable. They have still turned
up for the lecture so on this occasion the rule is flexible but then on the other hand where there is machinery
or computers, a no eating/drinking rule...