1) Expectations must be reasonable, clear, and consistent
In any classroom it's important to make sure all students know what is expected of them, that these expectations are responsive to their culture, and that expectations are reinforced consistently. Below are several techniques I employ in my classroom to meet this goal.
- Develop a list of class norms with my students and post these in the room for all to see
- Communicate with parents, community members, and faculty to ensure cultural expectations are successfully incorporated and reflected in the classroom
- Reinforce expectations while following the 6 Keys of Cooperation and Creating Allies (see section below)
2) Instruction must be rigorous and engaging
When students are offered meaningful materials and understand the importance of rigorous instruction they are more likely to engage and respond to high expectations (especially if they know you care about them). Below are some techniques I use to maintain rigorous and engaging instruction.
- Develop lessons that emphasize students' expertise and background experiences.
- Utilize a variety of instruction techniques including problem-based learning, hands-on labs, and direct instruction.
- Emphasize real-world application and implications of content and skills addressed in the classroom.
- Differentiate instruction to increase the range and depth of content, engaging all learners.
Additional Notes on Conflict Resolution
6 Keys of Cooperation and Creating Allies: When conflicts arise in my classroom I will follow the approach outlined by the Ronin Empowerment Group's Peacewalker Project, which proposes these 6 keys to inspiring cooperation and creating allies:
- Treat people with respect and dignity
- Show empathy to all
- Make requests, not demands
- Offer reasons to comply
- Give choices, not threats
- Help others save face