How Do You Build Community in the Classroom?
Recently, I put the words “How to build community in the classroom” in the Google search engine. The search returned 640,000,000 results. I visited sites on the first few pages and found some wonderful information.
Then I realized something; a crucial element was missing from all those pages.
The majority of the suggested activities on those pages are team-building activities, they are not about community-building. There is a significant difference between team building and community building.
When you do team-building activities, the result is (optimistically) a team.
If you want to build a community, you need to engage in community-building.
Step 1: Education in Community-building
In order to build anything, we need to know exactly what it is we are trying to build – and learn how to build it.
The first step is the most important one. In nothing else we do in the classroom, or in life, do we plunge right in without a comprehensive understanding of our goal. We take the time to learn about what we are trying to do.
Build a Community
In Kalliergo community-building training programs, participants learn how communities look, act, and feel, how groups become communities, how to facilitate the evolution of the group into a community, and strategies for mastering this approach.
Many leaders today are steeped in the old-school model of leadership where the leaders direct and control the activities of the group. But in community building, leadership is not like that. It’s an entirely new model of leadership.
Community building is not something you do to a group, it’s something you do with a group.
To this end, to build community in the classroom, the teacher needs the student’s understanding, consent, commitment, and voluntary participation in the community-building process.
Conversion, Not Coercion
This means teachers need buy-in from the students. And students need to be aware of what they are doing together, and happy to participate in it.
The Good News
After going through our comprehensive training in community building, you will be armed with tools and frameworks to approach your classes with more awareness of how to work with the groups, and a much greater chance of success.
And there’s more! Once you and a few of your colleagues participate in community-building training together, you will be able to collaborate about how to apply the frameworks to classrooms at any grade level because you will have built a support network among the members of the group.
Take it From Louise
Louise has been working with Kalliergo Community Building since 2021. This is what wrote she recently on LinkedIn (and allowed me to post here.)
“I have used Kalliergo to build community in my business and in the classroom. No other program does what Kalliergo does. Community building is not the same as social-emotional learning programs. SEL training is good but it does not create community. Kalliergo’s multi-step approach methodically leads groups into thinking about how to create and be an actual community. When we say that we are part of a community without Kalliergo training, we rarely are a community. I highly recommend Lori’s approach!”
Louise Yakey, Executive Director, Tutors to Teachers & CEO Arise Tutors, Santa Fe, New Mexico
See clips of the interview I did with Louise here.
Contact me for a free consultation. Let’s get started and make the next school year your best yet!