The Importance of Expectations

Update for September 2-5

Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress,

and working together is success. —Henry Ford

The first several weeks of school were always my favorite part of the year when I was in the classroom.  It was the time when the students and I focused our efforts into learning about each other, working together and establishing our classroom community.

One aspect to building a classroom community that I didn’t work as hard on during my first years of teaching was setting expectations in a way that were clear for students.  I have learned that this lack of attention to setting expectations was the source of so many of my frustrations when kids made what I thought was a poor decision.  The reality was that they probably didn’t really understand what my expectations really were.  

What I mean by this is that even though I would say things like, “We need to clean up at the end of the day,” my fourth grade students would still leave the classroom a mess.  I thought I had covered my expectations by simply saying “we need to clean up”. But what does that mean? And are we all actually thinking the same thing when we hear “we need to clean up”?

A couple of years later, I read an article that helped me understand that it was me and not my kids who didn’t understand.  I didn’t understand that fourth graders, developmentally speaking, couldn’t just hear a command and then take care of it.  Fourth graders actually benefit from being taught routines with clear and explicit expectations and then practicing them.

As I visit classrooms each day, I can see that we as a staff understand what I did not as a new teacher. We understand that it takes time to develop routines; to explain them, to practice them and to truly understand them. We know that it’s okay to take time to do this because it will benefit kids and our classroom environments in the long-run.  

We are already addressing one of our Areas of Focus, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, and I am excited to continue building off of the work we have done in that area as we continue to build our learning community.

Upcoming Dates

Mon Sep 1, 2014 No School
Tue Sep 2, 2014 8am – 9am Building Improvement Team mtg
Wed Sep 3, 2014 3:35-4:20 ADE/DCR Staff Meeting at ADE*
*Feel free to bring a chair for yourself
Thu Sep 4, 2014 5:30pm – 6pm Market Day
Fri Sep 5, 2014 Newsletter Home
8am – 9am Building Advisory Committee Meeting
Mon Sep 8, 2014 Mumkin Sale Ends
 TEAM Time with Herb (During Planning)
6:30pm – 7pm PTO Executive Mtg
7pm – 8pm PTO General Mtg
Fri Sep 12, 2014 Mumkin Orders due
Fri Sep 19, 2014 Mumkin Order Money due
Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:35-4:20 ADE/DCR Staff Meeting at ADE
Thu Sep 25, 2014 Picture Day (Gym)

Videos that Inspire

Articles Worth Reading

“You have to hit ’em in their ‘passion!’”

“Digital Parent Volunteers” via @gcouros

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s