Thursday, December 6, 2007

Checklist Stoke: Creating A Caring Classroom

There are some new bloggers and seasoned bloggers writing less about tech-tools and more about classroom instruction and anecdotes. And they're getting me stoked every time I open my reader. On of those blogs is Slam Teaching (is there an Edublog award for coolest title?). There, in a post about the fundamental calling of teaching, I found the following checklist that after a few frustrating tech-filled days centered me again. Besides, a good list to check always makes me feel better.

* I provide opportunities for success to each child in the classroom, encouraging growth from wherever they start.
* I assess student ability and adjust instruction to maintain an appropriate level of challenge for each.
* I offer students a variety of ways to demonstrate their knowledge, intelligence, and mastery.
* I attempt to build interpersonal skills, positive social behaviors, character skills, and resistance to failure.
* I attempt to accommodate a variety of interests, motivators, modality strengths, and learning preferences in my directions, instructions, and assignments.
* I attempt to accommodate tactile, kinesthetic, visual, verbal, and auditory learners.
* I make sure kids have ample opportunities to move around and help them learn to maintain an appropriate level of alertness without disturbing others.
* I avoid using humiliation, sarcasm, ridicule, anger, impatience, or manifestations of disappointment in dealing with students.
* I honor students' needs for respect, dignity, purpose, success, acceptance, attention, and motivation.
* I model standards of behavior, language, and tone of voice that I expect from my students.
* I work to eliminate prejudice toward students based on racial or cultural background; physical appearance; sexual orientation; academic, artistic, or athletic competence.
* I strive to stay aware of put-downs or slurs expressed by students or staff, responding immediately.
* I sometimes allow and encourage students to make decisions about their learning (what, where, with whom, how, or how much).
* I sometimes allow students to create, design, or renegotiate assignments to make them personally meaningful.
* I motivate through access to positive outcomes, rather than avoidance or fear of negative outcomes. I emphasize the positive consequences of cooperation.
* I consciously anticipate what students, teachers, and parents will need in various situations in order to prevent problems from occurring.
* I follow through immediately, avoiding warnings and threats.
* I make students and their parents aware of changes in behavior or performance that could affect grades or promotion.
* I utilize parents, administration, and support staff for feedback and support (not for punishing students).
* I attempt to meet students' needs for attention in positive, constructive, and proactive ways.
* I reinforce positive behavior with positive outcomes.
* I communicate with parents, regularly and frequently, about what their children are doing well.
* I respect students' affective needs and am committed to listening and supporting their feelings and problem-solving skills in positive ways.
* I respect confidentiality to the degree that doing so will not put anyone in danger.
* I immediately respond to incidents involving any form of bullying, harassment, or threat to safety.

Flickr Credit: I Na Aina E
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