High Tech, High Touch, High Performance

High Tech, High Touch, High Performance. You may heard these words if you attended one the orientation meetings or our opening day staff meetings. The Centerburg Middle/High School staff has embraced these terms and they are adjusting to the new…

Focus & Breathe

Shared by Michael Dales on Flickr through Creative Commons I mentioned in my last past post that my focus needs to be on instruction and assessment. In turn, I need to help teachers keep instruction and assessment at their forefront.…

Leave a legacy

I think it's human nature to wonder what people think about us. In fact, I would say at times we spend way too much time wondering what people will think as a result of something we said or did. Consequently,…

The Courage To Teach

The question we most commonly ask is the “what” question-what subjects shall we teach? When the conversation goes a bit deeper, we ask the “how” question-what methods and techniques are required to teach well? Occasionally, when it goes deeper still,…

Two Roads to Innovation

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Paro_for_Peace I have been really trying to study the notion of “innovation” and how we create an innovative culture.  From what I am seeing, two make an innovative “mindset” a culture,…

What Is and Is Not Fair

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Throughout my many conversations with teachers, I have heard time and time again how they feel it’s not fair for the rest of the class that they have to spend much time and energy on just a few disruptive students. These teachers are correct, it’s not fair.

According to Michael Linsin, “When you attend to poorly behaved students more often, you’re communicating to them in a subtle but clear way that they’re different, that they don’t have what it takes to control themselves like other students, so they need extra attention.”

So, why exactly do some teachers warn, argue, escalate and interrupt instruction to repetitively lecture more often to misbehaving-prone students or give them more attention than other students?  I believe these teachers are doing the very best they know how. Therefore, it’s time to reveal the secret strategy to creating conditions conducive to learning. The solution is to simply treat them just like everyone else. Allow your most challenging students to feel what it’s like to be a regular student.

Michael Linsin states, “To do this, you must follow your classroom management plan to the letter. Stick to it no matter what, and acknowledge your students when they do something well. Stop pulling them aside to explain this or that, stop lecturing or trying to get assurances from them, and stop telling them how wonderful they are because they sat quietly for 15 minutes during a read aloud.”

Simply acknowledge them for the same things you would for any other student. Remember, students have a distinct sense of what is and what is not fair. You must act fairly for all students if you expect to be respected.  Make sure that if your best student does something wrong, they too are treated like any other student.  Once you lose your student’s respect, you also lose their attention and their desire to please you.

“And resist the urge to discuss their behavior-related issues with them. If they’re angry or upset, don’t speak to them or let their anger bother you. It’s not personal. They have every right to be angry. It’s not your issue. Otherwise, smile and talk to them about the same things your other students like talking about—sports or movies or whatever feels right,” says Linsin.

In my experience, this strategy of treating your most disruptive students like everyone else only works if you set high expectations and have a solid classroom management plan that you follow precisely and every single time. No more lectures and short-term successes. It simply isn’t fair to the rest of the class.  Instead, lets set the bar high for every student and hold every student accountable from August till May while treating all students with kindness and respect.

It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” – Somerset Maugham 

Do You Assume the Best?

You must stick to your conviction, but be ready to abandon your assumptions.  ~ Denis Waitley As a seventh grade science teacher, I spent time helping my students develop the ability to make accurate, and specific, observations.  We practiced this…

I’m a fan of a to-do list. (Especially if it’s on lined, monogrammed paper!) I highly enjoy crossing things off as I accomplish them, it just makes me feel as if I am being so productive in life…as if then…