Learning is often defined as the act, process, or experience of gaining knowledge or skill. Psychologists similarly define learning as a change in behavior due to experience. Either way, learning allows a student to modify his or her behavior to suit a situation and to be more successful – both in their behavior and academically.
In my seminar, I will provide a very powerful format for you to follow and develop your own lesson plans to create guidelines, procedures and acceptable classroom behaviors. You will be teaching your students the proper way to conduct themselves in your classroom and around the school. Your students’ conduct and attitude will become your most important and key lesson of the year. The main goal is to instill this essential thought-process into your students’ intuitive intellect, making it second nature. Accomplishing this much-needed and crucial task requires daily teachings and reminders to be incorporated into everyday normal academic subjects. While you are teaching every other academic topic in class, this behavior theme is always running in the background.
At first, teaching these procedures might take-up much of your limited yet valuable time. As the year progresses your time spent teaching accepted classroom techniques and routines will become greatly reduced. Students will require fewer prompts and triggers to remind them, there is a new standard in acceptable classroom behavior. Whatever time you invest into this philosophy will start paying back ten-fold in the amount of academic material you cover daily. Suddenly you’ll find yourself teaching and covering subject-matter at a surprisingly and satisfyingly swift pace. Without celebration or fanfare, those time-stealing, aggravating, low-level, discipline issues, have seemingly all but disappeared from your everyday teaching routine. Teaching to rules and procedures will help your students learn all the skills they will need to become successful in your classroom and throughout the school.
The first month, first week, and first day of the school year are critical to classroom management. But do not be misled, this program can be successfully implemented at any point during the school year. It’s just easier and always best to teach expectations as the first item of the year so everything else simply falls into place. Successful teachers devote a great deal of time during the first few weeks of school to the careful teaching of rules and routines. Instead of telling and posting, they teach and practice crucial classroom standards just as they would any academic subject. The one hundred and eighty school days in a year are made up of routines, procedures, and rules to govern relationships. These new procedures and routines can be as simple as tweaks and minor adjustments to methods already in place. This innovative way of thinking will set the foundation of a structured environment that all children need to learn and all teachers need to teach.
Researchers have long investigated the most common rules and routines addressed by successful teachers at both the elementary and secondary school level. We asked master teachers from around the country to help develop and field test lesson plans for those common rules and routines critical to successful classroom and school operations. Teaching to expectations is not about trying to form unthinking automatons or youngsters devoid of divergent thought. Quite the opposite. Teaching to rules and procedures will set the stage for structure in your classroom for divergent and creative discovery and learning. Caring can be orderly and structured.
Once these routines and this wonderful philosophy become instilled in your students, your classroom will be running like a finely oiled machine. As the teacher, you might think to yourself that you have reached the apex of teaching. But, it’s not just the teacher that appreciates what’s going on in this classroom. The students now look forward to class and enjoy learning in a calm, stress-free, orderly and safe environment where they feel respected and wanted. By-the-way…. what administrator or parent doesn’t appreciate a calm and safe classroom environment?
Classroom Benefits for Administrators
1) Every time we allow the office to solve our classroom discipline problems, we erode our own credibility with our students. I provide strategies that help teachers take care of their own in-house, low-level, classroom discipline problems in a fair, mutually respectful manner. Empowering teachers frees the office to deal with other important building matters, and scheduling.
2) These easy-to-learn strategies:
- Promote clear boundaries between serious office referrals and minor, low-level, classroom issues.
- Promote proactive, positive learning environments.
- Reduced referrals to the office
- Increased academic scores
3) Because my training is not a “program” but rather a philosophy on how to treat students with dignity and receive the same back, you will find overwhelming staff/student/parent buy-in of the evidence-based strategies I present.