It becomes challenging for teachers to deal with an assembly of 20-30 children in a classroom for six hours a day. They are responsible for maintaining order and decorum in the classroom. Otherwise, it will have a negative impact on the learning outcomes of students and increase the stress levels of teachers.
Teachers can take charge of the class up front by setting clear expectations. Research states that clearly defined parameters for classroom behaviors affect discipline. If teachers communicate with the students and set certain classroom expectations, it will help students to mature and develop better social skills. They will learn more and it will create a friendly, safe, and learning environment for everyone in the classroom.
Setting Student Expectations
Teachers can set classroom expectations and promote collaborative learning goals. This puts students at the center of learning process. Setting clear classroom expectations will motivate students to take personal responsibility to improve their learning and behavior. As a result, they will focus towards achieving classroom goals throughout the year. Teachers should make sure that expectations are developed right from the beginning of the session. If they are inconsistently reinforced or developed at the middle of the session, it will confuse the students.
Understanding the Scenario
Teachers should comprehend the classroom scenario based on behavior and learning expectations. By behavior expectations, we mean the rules of etiquette that helps in smooth running of the class. Classroom behavior expectations can help students to concentrate and makes the teaching process easier. As per research, classrooms in which educators have set clear behavior expectations show fewer disruptions than the classrooms in which teachers have not set any expectations.
But, simply announcing ‘class rules’ is not sufficient to ensure improvement in behavior. Teachers should interact with the students and teach them about ideal classroom behavior. They should ask students questions like “What do you think should be allowed in the classroom and what shouldn’t, and why?”. They can also conduct debate sessions on topics of good classroom behaviors and so on. Teachers can assist students in deciding what should be done in classrooms and what not. This will motivate the students as they will feel that they helped in creating expectations.
Learning expectations are also equally important to enhance a student’s personality. Teachers explain to the students what they are supposed to learn at the beginning of the year. As a result, students can anticipate their learning needs and can decide how they are progressing with time. This also creates excitement among the students about what is coming later in the school year.
Expectations vary with Age Group
For each age group, classroom expectations are different. For example, in elementary school, students wait for their turn to go to the washroom. When another student comes back, then only they collect the bathroom pass and proceed. In case of middle school, if a student has completed his classwork, he is expected to sit quietly and read a book before the class moves on to the next activity. Similarly, high school students turn off their cell phones and put them in the bag as soon as they enter the classroom.
Setting Parent Expectations
For better outcomes, teachers should provide certain guidelines to parents as well. Parents are expected to maintain acceptable behavior with the teachers. They should be aware of their limit of involvement in their ward’s studies. Not doing so, may eventually lead to parent-teacher conflicts. Many parents aren’t much experienced about relinquishing authority over their children. Learning about parental behavior parameters will help them to assess their new role as their child is now studying in school. For example, teachers should give prior information to parents when the report cards will come out and when they will be sent home. This will stop the parents from constantly asking the teachers about the status of report cards.
Sometimes we can see that parents are less involved with their ward’s education. This may lead to the student’s poor performance in studies. A parent’s involvement is crucial for a child’s educational development. If teachers set expectations for the parents, then they will up their game and participate fully to ensure that their ward works hard and comes out with flying colors in curricular and extra-curricular activities. Research has found that students, whose parents actively participate in their academics, are likely to excel in studies, develop healthy social skills, and attend classes regularly. If teachers outline what is expected of the parents, then it will bridge the communication gap between parents and teachers.
Leading by Example
Sometimes students may not perform as expected. They may come with disappointing results. In such cases teachers should not treat them harshly. They can rather devise a plan and offer the students remedial support so that they can improve their performance and rectify their flaws. Treating the students with utmost care and offering them the extra help can bear good results. Punishing students will not solve the problem. Teachers should understand their issues by going to the root of the matter and provide them with an appropriate solution. Students should also be taught what acceptable behaviors look like by visualizing and modeling them in the classroom.
Working as a Team
Classroom expectations and goals cannot be achieved by simply telling students what to do or by forcing anything on them. It all comes down to teachers and students working together and establishing the best way to succeed. If teachers set behavior and learning goals at the beginning of the year, students will be of the impression that teachers have high expectations of achievement from them. They feel that teachers have full faith on the capabilities of every student. This will not only improve the student’s classroom performance, but also boost their confidence and enhance their personality. This will also play a very important role in career development of the students.