1. CARE ENOUGH TO SET LIMITS AND ESTABLISH RULES
Just make sure that the limits and the rules established are reasonable and few in number. When establishing the rules you want to live by in your classroom get the students involved in the process. It is much easier to get your students to march to a humane drummer when they own a piece of the drum.
2. NEGOTIATE WITH YOUR STUDENTS ON NEGOTIABLE ISSUES
In case you haven’t noticed young people today tend to react negatively toward autocratic authority. They are very conscious of their rights, if not their corresponding responsibilities. They don’t want to be ordered to do anything. It is much more effective to indicate what you expect, listen to their expectations and try to reach a compromise.
I know there are those reading this who are thinking, I’m the teacher and I will tell the kids what to do and they better darn well do it without question.” This type of thinking can really lead to a troubled teacher/student relationship. Keep in mind that we want them to eventually take their place as responsible citizens of our democratic society and this will involve the skills of negotiation and compromise. There is no better effective training ground than the classroom. This doesn’t deny the fact that there are some things that are not negotiable.
3. REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE A TEACHER AND NOT A BUDDY
Your students do not want or need their teachers to be their buddies. They have enough buddies in their very active lives. Be friendly but never relinquish your role as teacher.
4. WRITE NOTES OF ENCOURAGEMENT, AFFIRMATION AND CHALLENGE TO YOUR STUDENTS.
When your students submit a paper or notebook to be evaluated write brief notes of encouragement to them. If there was something you really liked or considered thought provoking write and tell them. I realize a teacher has to point out where the student went wrong on a specific assignment but affirming the positives should also be part of the evaluation process. You want to avoid red penciling everything they do.
5. DON’T PREACH
Your students hate to be preached at and we teachers just can’t help preaching whenever we get the chance. When you preach at them they turn you off so try hard not to. It really helps to suggest options or alternatives and leave it at that. Good luck with this one!!! I always found this to be most difficult for me.
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