Next Wednesday evening, we will be holding our second reflection event of the semester, during which Homework Zone volunteers will discuss the underlying issues behind the need for our program, and relate them to what they have learned themselves this semester.
In preparation for this reflection event, here is a book chapter that would be of interest. Pay close attention to the sections called “Effects on School Behaviour and Performance” and “Action steps” – although the whole article is very informative and relevant.
Here is an excerpt:
Embody respect. You can’t change what’s in your students’ bank account, but you can change what’s in their emotional account. It may require a considerable shift in your thinking. It is fruitless simply to demand respect from students; many just don’t have the context, background, or skills to show it. Instead,
- Give respect to students first, even when they seem least to deserve it.
- Share the decision making in class. For example, ask students whether they would prefer to do a quick review of what they have learned to consolidate and strengthen their learning or move on to new material.
- Avoid such directives as “Do this right now!” Instead, maintain expectations while offering choice and soliciting input (e.g., “Would you rather do your rough draft now or gather some more ideas first?”).
- Avoid demeaning sarcasm (e.g., “How about you actually do your assignment quietly for a change?”).
- Model the process of adult thinking. For example, say, “We have to get this done first because we have only enough time for these three things today.” Keep your voice calm and avoid labeling actions.
- Discipline through positive relationships, not by exerting power or authority. Avoid such negative directives as “Don’t be a wise guy!” or “Sit down immediately!” Instead say, “We’ve got lots to do in class today. When you’re ready to learn, please have a seat.”