Let’s highlight what we want to happen.

This teaching idea, not only comes from my teaching mentor, but also, my actual teacher from when I was in school. 

At the start of a new school year lots of teachers like to display the classroom rules. These might be set by the school and in some special cases such as Design and Technology, you might be extra rules. This isn’t an awful idea; it is always good to set the tone, and this is one method of doing such a thing.

The wording of these rules is important, this is the focus of this idea. Always say what you WANT the kids to do and not what you DON'T WANT them to do. It sounds easy but aiming for a positive and reinforcing that as an expectation rather than aiming for a negative and not necessarily achieving it - is far more effective.

It makes the classroom a much more positive place, not just for the students but for you also, try your hardest to not use any negative words in the classroom. Here a just a few simple examples:

Instead of “do not walk around the classroom”

say “stay in your seats, thank you”

instead of “do not shout out answers”

say “put your hand up to answer a question”

instead of “do not make that much noise”

say “thank you for keeping the noise down”

It seems really easy and simple in practice, but you will find yourself not doing it sometimes. We should model how we want our students to speak and if we only use positive words, then, they should as well. I was taken back by how quickly the students started to do this, in less than a month my students were only using positive words, and I am sure that they started to do it in an ironic and mocking fashion, but then it became habit. 

This teaching idea, just like all of our teaching ideas, comes down to your consistency.

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