Community Building Belongs in the Classroom
Create an Inclusive, Safe Learning Environment
Building community with the students in your care is not only a logical action for a teacher to take but also an inspired one. If teachers want to address essential aspects like inclusion, diversity, collaboration, empathy, and communication, community building in the classroom is the way to go.
Community building naturally fosters empathy, friendship, and collaboration among students. Nothing else – not even SEL – so comprehensively and eloquently addresses these intentions and creates a nurturing learning environment.
An Interview With an Outlier and a Renegade; Louise Yakey
Louise Yakey is the Executive Director of Tutors to Teachers, the CEO of Arise Tutors, and a classroom teacher in Santa Fe, New Mexico. When I addressed her Rotary Club early in 2021, she began to compose an email to me before I had even finished speaking. (In the interview, I ask her why.)
For the last six months of the school year in 2023, I coached Louise in building community with her five cohorts. Louise was well prepared to do this because she was a graduate of our Community Leadership Program and she recognized that building community in the classroom would address the serious issues experienced in her school.
Watch these brief clips from the interview I did with Louise to hear about her experiences with the students as she incorporated this important initiative into her curriculum.