Think About This! // 5


There is one confidence that is self-evident for teachers during the beginning of the school year.  To be accepted or "loved" by students is secondary to the understanding that the steps taken in September set the stage for success and respect. These steps (decisions) don't necessarily garner acceptance or immediate appreciation from the student but the seasoned teacher knows they must occur.

I actually "don't care" what the students thinks of me in September. I "do care" that they are better and stronger human beings after participating in my class, receiving my instruction and deeply believe in the perspective that their character development is more important than easy passage

Here are some of my "seasoned" suggestions:

1.  Pre-create: Always know where you are going organizationally and behaviourly.
2.  Work on a finite number of TOP expectations. For example, if a peaceful, well-ordered classroom is your priority set the procedures in place to accomadate this eventuality.
3.  Choose three behaviours to target: It is unlikely that all disruptive behaviours can be stemmed but consistent targetting of specific disruptive attitudes and behaviors will reap a benefit.
4. Understand how to curb behaviors that are counter-productive. Eye contact, specific announcements of expectations and respect for the student are great starting points. I have often used the following method. First,  say the student's name, identify the behaviour and your desire to have the student stop. Second, close the physical gap by half, increase the intensity by half and repeat yourself. Finally, if necessary, close the gap by half again, make eye-contact and register your request.  No escalation in voice or energy is needed. The message is generally received very well!
5. Get parents on board: Parents are your greatest allies and workers. Set up a volunteer schedule and trust them to do the work you give them, after all they taught their children to speak English :) Not an easy task! They will be able to help streamline your work load and grow the students abilities incrementally.  It truly does take a village.

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