**NOTE – parts of my post yesterday deleted itself after hitting the publish button. It’s been fixed now if you want to go back.**
My first run at teaching came in high school when I signed up for a course that made you a teaching assistant in a classroom. Depending on the teacher you were paired up with, the responsibilities and lessons they provided you with changed.
The first attempt I made at a lesson, I had this great idea to do a game show and the contestants would be chosen by students throwing a paper ball to a target. Closest one to the target got to go first.
The lesson was hectic and didn’t go as well as I planned. In debriefing with the teacher afterward, he had this to say:
“Your lesson was chaotic because you created that environment at the beginning.”
It’s a lesson I’ve been able to apply in many facets of life.
If you want the environment to be a certain way, including the way people treat you socially, you need to create it at the beginning. If I want people to treat me in a more casual manner, I will be more relaxed and joking with people right away.
If I’m looking for more professional attitude, the language and posture I use will change accordingly.
If I want my students to feel focused, the classroom will be setup in a way that eliminates distractions (I often get accused of having a “minimalist” room for this reason). If I want them to feel welcome, it’ll look, sound and feel more like a coffee shop than a school room.
The environment you bring people into will always determine how they will treat it. It’s up to you to create it accordingly.