Creating a Welcoming Classroom

group of young students gathered on the floor around a teacher who is reading to them

Help every student feel included and engaged

WIDA understands that multilingual learners might join your classrooms at any time during the school year. They arrive with a variety of cultural and linguistic experiences. While many learners were born in the United States, some may have several years of schooling in their home countries, some may have experienced interrupted schooling, and others may not have had the opportunity for formal schooling at all.

As a teacher, you can provide an inclusive and nurturing classroom environment for all students. Here are some tips:

  • Learn all you can about students' experiences, interests and abilities
  • Provide learning experiences and materials that reflect the identities and experiences of all students
  • Broaden intercultural understanding among all students in the classroom
  • Collaborate with other teachers and specialists to tailor learning materials and experiences
  • Gather some background: collect a writing sample, listen to a reading, have a conversation
  • Remember – a smile goes a long way

A welcoming classroom is about community and equity. By keeping these two ideas in mind, you can create an environment where students feel safe, visible and valued and where they are provided access to rigorous curriculum that engages and challenges them in meaningful ways.