6 changes I made to show more respect

  1. I told my students what I was trying to do with each class. Simple, but just showing that I was actually trying to accomplish something for them showed respect for their time.  This one’s easy – if you don’t do this, just start tomorrow.
  2. I asked my students for feedback and made changes to the class where I felt I could.  Discussing how they were feeling about the class showed respect for them as learners.
  3. I did a lot of work preparing questions and activities that would never leave any students hanging with no graceful path to follow.  Students who know they won’t look stupid can engage more easily.
  4. When I posed a question to the whole class, I gave everyone time to prepare answers before calling on anyone.  I avoided asking questions with quick, pre-determined answers. I showed that I take questions seriously, and don’t just use them as a device to keep underlings on task.
  5. I followed a predictable structure and didn’t change it without warning and discussion.  Giving them input about how they spend their time showed respect for them as people.
  6. I expected them to show respect for me and for each other. Holding them to high standards showed them I think they can meet high standards.

Working to really SHOW respect has two purposes.

It supports a group of people (children) who are just now earning respect for themselves.  They aren’t necessarily very receptive to respect yet, so being obvious about it can help.

It also teaches THEM to show respect. Which might be even more important than teaching them trigonometry.

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