Level 1: Creating A Caring Community
- Set high expectations for students: Always hold high expectations of every student. Students’ success is determined by the expectations you set as a teacher. Tell your students from the beginning that they will be successful in your class( Wong, 2009).
- Be consistent from the beginning: Communicate plans at the start of the school year in a firm but controlled manner.
- Invite students into the class: “Stand at the classroom door with a big smile and a ready handshake”(Wong, pg. 160, 2009).
- Establish Control in the first week of school: The teacher should have prepared prior to the first day of school what the students are doing for the day, know the classroom procedures, and know their professional responsibilities (Wong, 2009).
- Have a written out action plan for the first day of school: Greet each student at the door, direct them towards their seats, introduce self, teach classroom procedures, rules, and consequences (Wong, 2009).
- Rehearse procedures you want to be apart of the everyday routine: Spend the first two weeks of school rehearsing everyday the routines by reinforcing a correct procedure and reteaching one that is incorrect. Reinforcing is done by praising students. Reteach the procedure if it is not going how you wish and give “corrective feedback” (Wong 2009).
- Include students in decision making: Develop a Social Contract with students in which the teacher and students collaboratively develop a classroom social contract. Students brainstorm a list of values and expectations they find important for the class and share it with their parents once agreed upon in school. Students also decide what they expect from their teacher to create equity (Villa and Thousands, 2010).
- Team Building Activities: Hold regular classroom meetings. Khon describes the necessity in having students discuss at the beginning of the year what they did not like or appreciate about a particular classroom environment they were in in the past. The goal is to transform school and classrooms into learning “communities” (Khon). Not only should class meetings take place at the beginning of the year, but on a routine basis to check in with the students.
- Student Participation: Call on students randomly, using the Stick Pick app to get all students involved. Get permission from students in advance, however. Some students may feel too intimidated to be called on, so check with students in advance.
- Create High student engagement with one another: Allow for opportunities where students not only work together, but do so to meet a common goal. Include activities involving social justice in student collaboration with one another, so students achieve social justice goals together. This will build strong community among students (Kohn).
- Use name badges/ name games: In the beginning of the year, use name tags and play name games to build community and make students accountable for knowing their peers (Wounded, Olsen).