According to Merriam Webster behavior is defined as anything that an organism does involving action and response to stimulation or the response of an individual, group, or species to its environment. Across America students will enter schools and classrooms over the next few weeks and have to adjust their behavior to a new environment: your classroom. But we need to think about what we are asking students to do.
I know with my alarm clock going off at 6AM this week I have not been jumping out of bed rejoicing the fact I get to go back to work. I miss my sleep in, stay in jammies, have a late breakfast start to the day. I miss going to the bathroom and eating whenever my body desires. I miss putting down an activity and switching to something else for fun. I miss non-structure.
We are asking our students to do the same. Many of them have been on a long summer vacation from routine and getting back into the school setting takes patience and time. I know in our need to get curriculum started we jump into things at school thinking, “Well, they have been in a classroom so they should know this by now” in regards to behavior. That is simply not true.
I am going to a wedding this weekend. In deciding how myself and three children (one a teen, ugh) need to be dressed I am going on experience. I should now this by now. I have been to weddings. BUT, each wedding has small variances. Each bride decides a venue and theme and time of day. This has an impact on how we will end up being dressed. Environment and personality affect behavior.
This is true as your students come into your classroom. They have been in a classroom before (with the exception of some kinders, that is a different story all together). They do know some basic behavior expectations. But they don’t know YOURS. Remember to clearly state your expectations and review them. Remember to give your students grace. Remember to smile and learn and have fun. You should know that by now!