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It’s a Teacher Thing: Setting High Expectations From The Start

Set ’em high from the get-go!

We’re into Week 2 of my new, purposeful blog posting. Last week, everything focused on gearing up for your new classroom through buying supplies and physical materials necessary for success. This week, I’m going to be focusing everything on establishing your expectations and procedures at the start.

It is incredibly important to establish high expectations and clear procedures from Day 1. Now, while I don’t necessarily believe in “don’t smile until Christmas” – mostly because I have a really bad poker face – I do believe in the advice that you can always get easier but you can’t get harder. It’s a good idea to go into the year with strict everything and, as the year plays out, decide what you can let slide and what you can’t.

For example, last year I started out with the policy of “everyone is silent during dismissal.” This was a great policy to have as I didn’t know the kids, I didn’t know if they would behave or watch for their bus or run around the room screaming if given an inch of leeway. However, after a few weeks, it became apparent that these kids could behave during dismissal and so I gave them opportunities to play board games while they watched for their rides. This was a case where I set an expectation high and then, when they proved they could handle it, gave them some freedom.

If you’re on a team like I am – such as ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies – have the same expectations across the board. If you don’t chew gum in ELA, you don’t chew gum in Math. If Science expects you to SAND your paper, you SAND your paper in Social Studies. Having consistent expectations with all of the teachers will certainly help students know what is expected of them and you won’t hear “But Mrs. So-and-So lets us!!” over and over again.

As you think about expectations and procedures, here is a link to a Classroom Procedures Guide in my TeachersPayTeachers store:

This guide will help get you started and is a free download! Just remember that things may be different depending on your grade level. But – high expectations are important whether you are teaching kindergarten or seniors!

Hopefully, this was helpful as the summer is winding down and the school year is getting ready to start. Let me know if you have any questions or any advice yourself for new teachers!!