Then, you’ll remember the lessons on respect that you will invariably be required to teach during the week, and all your planning will go out the window.
“Lessons on respect? What are you talking about, Sam?”
For example: In the middle of your lesson on the Industrial Revolution, a student will say something or do something that breaks the Respect Rule.
Although you went over the idea of respect a week ago, that student for some reason forgot the connection between his actions and respect.
You’ll have a choice to either hand out a consequence or re-teach the abstract concept of respect.
You’ll say to yourself, “I just went over this last week. Wasn’t the student paying attention?”
First of all, we have to remember that these are kids. Kids need to be reminded again and again of a concept before it sticks.
What are you going to do?
It’s much easier to hand out a consequence and move on with the Industrial Revolution.
You’ll say to yourself, “I’ll talk to him/her later about his actions.”
Most teachers would probably do this.
I have done this many times.
What would happen if you paused the history lesson to teach another lesson – a lesson on your one rule?
It might be a little embarrassing for the student, so you’ll have to be a little delicate.
I’m not saying that you start lecturing about being respectful. Don’t make this a tirade or a finger-pointing soliloquy. (I’ve always wanted to use that word.)
If done correctly, your detour to reinforce the class’ One Rule can have an impact on not only that student, but on the entire class.
The One Rule lesson needs to be reinforced probably daily in the beginning of the year and perhaps weekly from then on.
This will most definitely cut into your lessons on history, science, math, language arts, etc., but you know it will be time well-spent.
What does this look like?
Imagine this scene:
Teacher: “So the Industrial Revolution brought more people into the cities and…”
Johnny: (Talking to a neighbor instead of paying attention)
Teacher: (Stopping the lesson and looking at Johnny)
Johnny: (Noticing that the lesson has stopped and the teacher – and the rest of the class – is looking at him) “What?”
Teacher: “I thought we had agreed to follow our respect rule”
Johnny: “What? I was just talking about the picture in the book.”
Teacher: “Can you see how that is breaking our respect rule? By you talking while I’m talking, you’re saying that what I have to say is not valuable, and I feel a little disrespected.”
Teacher: (Non-sarcastically) “But at least you were talking about something in the history book and not about something you saw on TV. That’s good.”
Teacher: (Smiling at Johnny) “We’re good. Right?”
Johnny: (Nodding) “Yeah.”
It is so important that when you correct a student in front of the class that you are not humiliating him/her.
There will be times when you have to call out a student for breaking the respect rule, but it absolutely has to be done respectfully.
This is not always easy, but it is so essential to creating an positive classroom environment.
You may have to interrupt your regular lessons often in the beginning to re-teach the Only One Rule: Respect lesson, but the time invested in teaching these lessons will pay off big the entire year.
Don’t forget, you can download a free printable PDF version of the Only One Rule: Respect Poster at www.OnlyOneRuleRespect.com.
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Thank you again for all you do for our kids!
You are amazing!
Until next time, here’s to your Success in the Classroom!
P.S. If you haven’t already done so, download my newest ebook: The Amazing Teacher Pledge – 10 Promises that Amazing Teachers Make and Keep Every Day.