Whether we’ve been to a one day workshop or an entire week of training, there is so much excitement about using a truly comprehension-based approach! And then reality hits…..
How do I start? What do I do first? What do I need? HELP!
It looked so seamless and easy in the demo. We had some practice at the training and overcame a few butterflies. But when the reality of 100+ students a day, IEP’s, lesson plans, unit plans, evaluation, assessment, and explaining it all to colleagues, parents and students kicks in, it’s overwhelming.
So let’s start from the heart of the matter. If we (and everyone else) has a clear idea of why we are doing what you do, it all goes much more smoothly.
I’m going to suggest a one-word start:
I actually started with several other ideas (see next post!!), but then realized that if we start with RESPECT, everything else will flow more successfully.
What does RESPECT, in the classroom, look like to you?
This is incredibly important. If we are clear in our own hearts and minds about what is and isn’t respectful, discipline becomes much easier. If you’ve never thought about it in such concrete terms, take 10 minutes and try it. Take a look at this list and mark which actions/reactions you consider respectful and which you do not.
Feel free to share it with colleagues or even use it as a lesson plan for interaction and discussion with students.
WHAT IS RESPECT?WHAT IS RESPECT?
Look at what you feel is respectful and what isn’t. Based on what you feel, what definition can you put together for RESPECT? Here are some ideas. Feel free to adopt/adapt or consider working with colleagues/students to create a definition for your classroom.
RESPECT is a choice.
RESPECT requires paying attention to others.
RESPECT requires being aware of self.
RESPECT is an action, or choosing to NOT engage in an action..
RESPECT does not hurt others, physically or emotionally.
RESPECT is visible.
RESPECT creates a community.
RESPECT accepts differences.
RESPECT values progress over perfection.
RESPECT brings people together.
RESPECT recognizes growth.
Post this in your classroom. Put it in English/TL. Have students create a copy for themselves. Refer to it often. Add to it when needed!!
Respect is the cornerstone and building block of a successful relationship. When we begin there, and encourage conversation and discussion about respect and communication, we begin with an open door towards success…..even if it seems rocky at first!
So how do we communicate our thoughts/beliefs to our students? We each get to decide that. There is no wrong way as long as it falls under the guidelines we have identified as RESPECTFUL.
Make a poster. Make copies for students. Have students write them for an assignment. Design a game. Lead a discussion. Poll them on their ideas or on how past teachers showed respect. Use the worksheet above. Just tell them. Anything we do that keeps them alive and in front of the class will work…again, as long as it follows your RESPECTFUL guidelines..
Ultimately, focusing on RESPECT will only work if we walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Let your students see you at your most respectful. Let them see you apologize if you are not. Let them see that it is all of those things you said that it was, BY YOUR ACTIONS.
Showing RESPECT through action is LOVE in its highest form. They know that, even if they haven’t yet experienced it.