Catch Students During the Honeymoon
Ahh, the first few weeks of school. What a delight! Students are eager to achieve, administrators are tap dancing due to no suspensions, the teachers are high-fiving in the hallway. Be very wary of the honeymoon.
The honeymoon period is the time you really need to commit to establishing the Positive Behavior Expectations. It's so easy to walk away that first week and think the students are just fine, we don't need to practice how our behavior expectations. We went over the expectations, they have the syllabus, what could go wrong?
It's a gradual release. It does not happen overnight, but the students will begin to test you. I mean it's only fair, right? We test them, turn about is fair play. If you don't catch the students when they are in that eager stage, the honeymoon stage, it will pose challenges in the future. Take the time to involve the students in establishing the classroom culture. Have them create the Positive Behavior Expectations, practice how to do it the right and wrong way. Students love to be stars, put them on the stage. The more you emphasize the why you are establishing the Positive Behavior Expectations, the more students will understand and be willing to commit to the expectations.
So, don't be seduced by the honeymoon, involve students in creating an inclusive, safe and productive classroom environment. Practice the expectations, follow through with correcting behavior and emphasize the why of all the expectations. As always, the proactive steps are available in Keep Calm & Teach.