High expectations are essential in creating a positive learning environment. Ask yourself, "What do I expect of my students, and have I explicitly shared these expectations?" But don’t stop there! Consider where they may have behavior or academic skill gaps that need teaching or scaffolds to meet those high expectations.
Balancing high expectations with support for each child’s unique talents is a challenge worth embracing. In my experience, the children are capable of so much, and sometimes only need a little bit of support, like a checklist, role playing a new routine, or seeing visual cues.
In one of the Positive and Engaged Learning Community modules, we'll guide you in explicitly teaching and defining expectations. Whether you’ve joined us in that professional development experience yet or not, try explicitly teaching one new behavioral skill this week.
First, notice the child *trying* to do that skill. Where are the gaps? Do they need to learn some language for talking out a conflict on the yard? Maybe they need a warning before a transition, and some practice with starting the transition or cleanup process. Show how to do the new skill, and give plenty of opportunities to practice, practice, practice.
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