Setting expectations and consequences
Throughout my different times spent in the classroom, I have noticed that students can be a handful in regards to their behaviors. Today I read a blog posting about how important it is to set expectations for your students behavior and if they are not met, then there will be consequences. This was a very good read with a lot of useful tips for managing unacceptable behavior. The author of this blog is Pat Hensley. Pat starts out by comparing behaviors in the classroom, to those of your siblings. She said it is like a three strikes and you're out system, which makes a lot of sense. When we want students to model a certain behavior, we need to be very specific when telling them what that behavior is. It is important to focus on one behavior at a time as well. We can't just tell our students (especially the younger ones) a long list of behaviors and expect them to follow. As teachers we need to break them down and focus on having students master one at a time. It is also very important to be consistent and firm when enforcing these expectations. If a student is acting out and we only threaten them with consequences, they will continue to act out. The best way to discontinue a bad behavior, is to enforce the consequences that they were told prior. Punishing students isn't easy and us teachers hate to do so, but as the blog said, we must be patient with our students. Not everybody will learn after the first consequence, but we have to have some faith that eventually they will.