Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Setting Limits

In The things we go back to from Seth Godin's Blog from Seth Godin states,

“Credit card companies have discovered that if a person carries $2,000 in debt with a $3,000 credit limit, they’ll probably have $4,000 in debt if the credit limit gets raised to $5,000.”

Most people like boundaries. In fact, I believe we need boundaries.

Imagine a world without speed limits or laws. They are essential for our community to work. Imagine our society without any laws!

My students need boundaries. They want to know the limits that a teacher sets. Yes, of course, they will push those boundaries and limits because they want to know if they are real. Will they be enforced? Does the teacher truly mean them or are they just lip service to administration?

When I was young, my parents explained they had rules for me because they loved me. If they didn’t have rules, I would believe they didn’t care and doubt that they loved me.

I believe my students feel the same way.

My classroom rules demonstrate that I care. I want all my students to have a productive learning environment that is safe to make mistakes. I want my students to feel that I will be fair and make all of them follow the same rules and the consequences will be fair for all. They need to know that I care enough about them to enforce the rules.

Without rules, my class would be chaotic. Students would feel they could do anything and not suffer consequences, and it would not feel like a safe learning environment for them. Students would be afraid of making a mistake and being ridiculed by others. Learning would be more difficult.

Students need someone to take a leadership role. If the teacher doesn't establish rules and doesn't establish the role of leader, one of the stronger students will. If this student is not the best-behaved student, the student will encourage disruption and bad behavior.

If I ask my students to write an essay, almost all of them want to know how long it should be. They want to know how many words, or paragraphs, or pages it should be. They want to know what my limits are. I know I felt the same way as a student and I felt very anxious when a teacher responded, “Write enough to answer the question.”

Do you establish limits in your class? Please share.

Photo by Ludovic Charlet on Unsplash

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