Who We Are: Three Strategies to Create an Inclusive Classroom | Nancy Weaver | 6 Min Read

December 19, 2022

Before opening a textbook or pondering pedagogy, there are several practices that instructors can adopt to set the stage for an inclusive and supportive classroom culture. This is particularly important since many students are struggling to feel a sense of psychological safety after returning to school post-COVID. With a bit of concerted effort, instructors can help students feel at ease in the classroom and motivated to fully engage. While it’s easy to dismiss these practices as luxuries or irrelevant “soft skills,” firmly establishing a collaborative and trusting culture is critical for learning and ultimately, for everyone’s well-being. Three strategies for creating an inclusive and supportive classroom culture are:

1. Learn the names of your students and make sure your students know each other’s  names. Use their name when you give feedback on papers, when you engage them in conversation, or see them in the hallway. This is the most basic way to respect your students: It tells your students that you value and see them, they are an important part of the class, and they are worthy of your efforts to learn who they are. If names are hard for you to learn or hard for…

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Nancy Weaver

Dr. Nancy L. Weaver applies communication sciences, analytics and public health principles to promote positive parenting of young children and adolescents. Whether encouraging nurturing relationships between caregivers and kids or working with institutions and health care systems to adopt effective programs, she advances strength-based messages that are easy to understand and are highly relevant to diverse audiences. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Missouri Foundation for Health and other granting agencies and has led to the widespread dissemination of many efficacious programs. Most recently she launched Support Over Silence for KIDS to address public child mistreatment. Weaver is Co-director of the Community Engagement Core of the Center for Innovation in Child Maltreatment Policy, Research and Training at Washington University and was the founding Director of SLU’s REACH Center: Research and Equity in Action for Child Health, a regional initiative that brings together academic and community partners to advance the health of moms, dads, families and children. Weaver frequently consults with health care systems, providers and non-profit agencies to design and evaluate population health initiatives and prevention approaches.