Lets keep it simple today. Improving classroom climate and your own effectiveness as an educator does not need to be exceedingly complex. Here are five rules for all educators to live by to improve your day to day performance.
1. ALWAYS BEGIN WITH A HIGH FIVE. Greet kids every day and greet them with a smile. This is their second home and we want them to feel welcome. Call them by name, give them a high five, handshake, or knuckles and set the tone for their learning. Pre-correct behaviors before they happen and let them know that it is going to be a great day.
2. POST AFTER FIVE. If you have to repeat the same message more than five times in a day to a student or to your group of students, write out, list out, or post pictures of what you are expressing. When you need to repeat yourself again, reference this visual. It will promote greater independence in your learners and they will rely on you less to do the right thing.
3. HAVE FUN WITH 5:1. Provide five positive comments, gestures, or interactions for every one reprimand, correction, or negative interaction. Keeping this ratio will help you maintain positive relationships with your students. This is a key to good teaching. Students generally have an easier time learning from adults that they have a good relationship with.
4. SPEAK LESS THAN FIVE. When students begin to escalate, their ability to process complex language can become impaired. If you want your students to still hear you at a time when they are not at their best, reduce your sentences to five words or less and reduce each word to five letters or less. Give processing time before repeating and remain direct yet compassionate.
5. REMEMBER TO TAKE FIVE. You may not always get a full planning time or a full lunch, but every day at least make sure you get five minutes to yourself. For those who work in stressful classrooms, just getting a break to walk to the main office can seem refreshing. It may require the support of another adult in the building, but take care of yourself so that you can better take care of your students.