Developing a class ethos involves embodying values in concrete forms. This may take displaying expectations of behavior or teaching some basic sign language so that learners can say a silent “thank you” to each other without disturbing others. It could include arranging desks and expecting certain expressions of respect, such as raising hands rather than interrupting each other.
- Teachers can develop a collaborative community in math so that all can achieve. This can include high expectations of behavior and work, and supporting each other. It involves accepting that it is OK to make mistakes, ask questions, and make suggestions. Seating can be changed to facilitate this shift.
- Teachers can display a class photo frame to display work that shows effort and to applaud the author; a certificate can even be sent home to encourage and acknowledge progress.
These examples include some basic expressions of ethos and show that it is important to be intentional, making sure ethos is embodied in some way rather than leaving it as something that is just assumed.