If you are a teacher, you are now at a time of the year where the novelty and beautiful unfamiliarity of the school year has just about worn off. Students who seemed to have turned over a new leaf are suddenly showing their "true colours", the bliss painted upon them by a long holiday has washed away and you're starting to get your first rolling of eyes and mumbled complaints about established routines that were perfectly ok just a few weeks ago.
In this situation, we feel that we've reached a fork in the road. Reinforce the barriers, rules, expectations and standards for what you expect OR amp up the relationship building - the warm, fuzzy stuff that students of all ages respond to. Or is it really a fork? My contention is that the answer is no. It takes effort and time, but if you want results then do both ... travel both paths.
Here's 5 simple "tough love" and 5 easy "fluffy bunny" ways to get both the expectations and support metres running at full capacity again:TOUGH LOVE1. Run a circle about the 3 most important behaviours for the class correct right now and why. State them on the wall of your classroom as a 5 week goal.2. Do what you say. If you say we're staying in at lunch to talk about the noise level in the room - do it.3. Challenge the learning. Nothing screams "do what you wish" like an environment that provides tasks which are too easy or generic.4. Create a feedback loop. Ensure that those students & staff enduring negative behaviours have a voice for stating to the "perps" how their behaviour is impacting them.5. Reinforce routines. When we slacken the adherence to productive patterns all that's left is uncertainty and invitation about what a student might be able to get away with.FLUFFY BUNNY1. On just one one day, greet every student individually, with a smile and by name.2. Reveal something of yourself (appropriately and positively- they do not need to know about your pending divorce proceedings!). Look for something that will connect you personally with your most challenging students. Good examples are sports, music, technology and television.3. Call five parents whose students are doing a great job and let them know. It will increase your support base from which you can be effective and creative.4. Ask "How are you going?". They'll probably say "good" or "fine". But then pause and wait for them to fill the silence. What they say after the reflex response is the truth. It's all the evidence for change you'll ever need.5. Be optimisitic - "I have a feeling this is going to be a great week.", "You guys really do have the potential to be the best class in the school.", "I'm getting a really good vibe today, this is awesome." ... you get my drift.Have a fantastic week of leading and learning!
Can't see the comments?.. please click here