Even Some Veteran Teachers Haven’t Considered Teaching Procedures In This Depth…
Do you know a teacher who has his or her classroom very well behaved no matter what crop of children they receive? Nearly every child is following directions in these classrooms for the majority of the school year. You could walk into these classrooms later in the year and wonder what their secret is. The secret lies in the first few days and weeks of school. The first few days of school are SO crucial. If a teacher allows and ignores whispering in the hallway now, then students will be yelling in the hallway by Christmas. You must “nip it in the bud” my college professor once told me. If students don’t do EXACTLY what you want the first few days of school, you must make them practice it over and over again until you get EXACTLY the behaviors you desire.
I was so proud of my novice teacher today! I mean smiling 1000 watt smile with all of my teeth showing on the inside. I had a long talk with her on the phone before our first day of school. I reminded her to practice every single procedure until she got the desired behavior she was looking for. I also told her to be specific about every detail when she explained each procedure.
In our conversation I said “Remember every behavior that got on your nerves last year,”.
She said, “mhum.”
I posed this question to her, “What happens when your rule is “STAY IN YOUR SEATS” and a child drops his or her crayons box? All of the students’ eyes follow the spewing of crayons while you are teaching. About six little feet patter across the floor to “help” the poor student who has just dropped the entire contents of his precious school box. You stand there not knowing whether to warn these “helpers” since they were only “helping” or thank them because they were assisting their peers.”
To hold students accountable for every action, a great teacher has foreseen the inevitable behavior of children and will address these actions before they happen. If a situation arises that hasn’t been addressed, the teacher will make a learning experience from it.
So, the reason for my 1000 watt smile : D is that my novice teacher was doing all of these things exactly like we discussed. As I walked in her room today I was so impressed of how she was having her students practice every procedure until they mastered it to her standards! She quickly dished out consequences for inappropriate behavior, and all children were attentive! I could take veteran teachers in her room into learn from such a model classroom! BRAVO!