The Next Time
With a full week of school under our belt, students are all settling into our routines and seem to have a good understanding of expectations. It’s been great watching them learn the ropes, but it’s been even better watching and hearing teachers work with students to help prevent the next time. You see, the next time is when we find out if the correction this time was effective.
And it’s a fine line because we want to be firm and consistent, but we also want to teach, correct, and prevent future mishaps. One of the chapters in Todd Whitaker’s book What Great Teachers Do Differently is titled “Prevention versus Revenge.” Here are three key takeaways from that chapter to help us all walk the line between correcting behavior and being firm and consistent.
“When a student misbehaves, the great teacher has one goal: to keep that behavior from happening again. The least effective teacher often has as different goal: revenge.”
“As educators, we must focus on what we have the ability to influence. We all know we can’t change what has already happened; what’s the point of directing our energy there? Let’s work instead to prevent the misbehavior from happening again.”
“Effective teachers understand that what matters is not whether a student leaves the office mad [or is mad about serving detention], and it’s not what the student reports to his peers, but it’s how the student behaves in the future.”
Our students are great, but at times some may need correction— especially in these first few weeks as we are learning the expectations of our school. Our ultimate goal when it comes to correction needs to be this: preventing the next time.
It’s been great seeing that in action this week and I hope it pays dividends moving forward. Keep up the great work!