Thursday, September 19, 2013

Classroom Assumptions

impactIn 10 Teacher Assumptions for a Successful Classroom from Tips For New Teachers and Student Teachers,Sam shares 10 teacher assumptions for a successful classroom. If you have a chance, head on over there to read his list. He also asks,

Is there another assumption that I should add to the list?”

This had me thinking of other assumptions that lead to a successful classroom.

School is nothing like it was when I was in school. Students are more mature physically and emotionally than I ever was at their age. Students have access to more entertainment media than when I was their age. Students have experienced more of the world due to exposure to news media. I can’t expect them to react to life the way I did.

Assume that all parents care. Too many times I hear teachers talk about parents who don’t care or monitor children the way they should. I don’t think it means that they don’t care. It may mean that their life is so overwhelming that they are just trying to survive. It may mean they are working three jobs to pay the bills. Maybe it means that they don’t know how to handle a situation and tries to ignore it, hoping it will disappear. In 30 years, I’ve never actually met a parent who truly didn’t care.

Assume that all students really want to succeed. Too many times I hear teachers say that the kids don’t care. They don’t try. They are lazy. Maybe the students are overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. Maybe the students have failed so many times that they lack the energy to keep on fighting. Maybe they don’t know how to fight to succeed. But I believe that every student wants to be successful.

Assume that you can make a difference in everyone’s life. This can be positive or negative depending on your own attitude. What I say and how I say it will have an impact on every person I cross paths with. I may never see the outcome but I will have made a difference no matter how small it may be. I need to think before I react and say something I shouldn’t or didn’t mean to say.

Assume that students’ actions speak louder than words. Students can say angry words or lie or push your buttons. But look at the actions that go with the words. Is the student defensive? What is the student defending? Why is the student acting this way? Sometimes we need to look past the words and not let them make us react. Look beyond the words. Look at the behavior.

Assume that teachers’ actions speak louder than words. Students know when a teacher is sincere or just paying lip service. They watch our every action and see if we are walking the walk or just talking the talk. Students want to see if we are standing behind the words we are saying. We need to be role models for them. If we preach about appropriate behavior, then we better not be exhibiting inappropriate behavior. Don’t tell them not to smoke and the see them outside of the school setting while we are smoking a cigarette. They know when we are being hypocritical and they lose respect for us.

What assumptions would you add? Please share.

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