Boosting Classroom Participation Through Creating an Engaging Atmosphere

As school administrators, we treasure the occasions we spend interacting with students in classrooms. Personally, as an assistant principal, it brightens my day when I’m drawn into a classroom by what I refer to as “the buzz.”

A buzzing classroom has an indescribable allure. At our school, we aim to not only define this buzz to see more of it but also to foster it and guide our teachers in doing so. When we are captivated by the buzz, students are likely to feel the same way.

My peers and I have identified three common characteristics in buzzing classrooms: teachers implement challenging tasks that actively engage students; there is real-time data to structure students around these tasks; and the focus is on students and their work rather than on the teachers themselves.

Together with fellow instructional leaders, we have prioritized these three qualities in planning and delivering professional development, thereby enhancing the buzz and fostering its spread throughout teachers’ classrooms.

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