Giving and Getting Respect
When students feel valued,
respected and welcomed in their classroom, they are more likely to behave
better and demonstrate respect toward you. It's human nature to cooperate with folks we like and admire. Here are a few tips for
creating the optimal classroom environment.
Build your "rep" by communicating
and showing concern for the
welfare of your students.
-Display concern for youngsters
-When they ask: "Why did you call my parents?" or
"Why did you give me detention?"
-Answer with "Because I care about you." or
"Because I know you're capable of so much more."
-Converse with your students outside of class.
Give them the time of day. Build
a friendly relationship.
-Use your expressive and receptive humor.
See the humor in situations and
create joy for your youngsters.
Set up kids for success
-Establish routines so kids know how to behave in recurring situations.
-Discuss behavioral expectations before an activity & use student input.
-Use proactive cooperation. Give a direction that you know
they will enjoy
following before you give them directions with which they might hesitate. Get
them in the cooperative mood first.
-"Everyone draw a capital "I" in the air."
-"Hey Fran, give me five."
-"Everyone hold up your pointer finger. Now stick it in the book where you
think page 108 must be."
Then tell them to open their books to page 108 and write answers to the six questions.
-Help them respond correctly in class. Give hints and cues
so that they are
successful in front of others.
-Catch 'em being good (Remember to describe the behavior. Don't
student...for more information, see the link on the home page titled "Problems with catching kids
being good and how to do it right)
-Recognize effort, not correctness. If a kid is giving us his/her
best, we should be
-Point out the progress made over time. Kids need to see that they have learned.
-If a kid doesn't want to attempt a hard task, reminisce about the
times when effort
brought success. Encourage that display of effort again. Remember to tell
her/him that as long as s/he tries hard, you are pleased.
-State your belief in their potential. Let them know that you
have faith in their
When things go wrong, remember why you went
into teaching. You do
remember, don't you?
(You liked kids and wanted to help them learn and become good citizens.)
Help misbehaving youngsters to
learn new and better ways
-Interact respectfully with misbehaving youngsters. Treat them as you would like
to be treated. Help them to do better. Be a guide, not a boss. Be the type of
teacher you remember fondly from your school days.
-Talk TO them, not AT them
-Keep your voice at a conversational level, even when you're perturbed
-Avoid giving lectures about life
-Exhibit the self control you wish for them to show
-Never do anything to them that you wouldn't want done to you
-Separate the behavior from the kid. Like the youngster, dislike the behavior.
-In an incident, don't just find fault, identify what was OK and
what wasn't (some %
of positive). For example: "Fran, it was noble of you to stand up for your friend.
Being a loyal friend is important. However, I can't allow you to hit others. How
else could you have handled the situation?"
-Seek win-win solutions. Look for solutions to problems that don't find blame or punish.
-Help the youngster to display more acceptable behavior:
-teach it, role-play it, remind him/her to demonstrate it, reward it, encourage
more of it
Author: Tom McIntyre, DoctorMac@BehaviorAdvisor.com