High Expectations

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,774
    Likes Received:
    522

    Jul 16, 2018

    What does setting high expectations mean for you in the classroom?

    One of the challenges of my student teaching was that I felt like my school had very low expectations of my students, especially in terms of their behavior. There were often no consequences and the students received so much free time (that should have been instructional time IMO.) All of my friends who taught in the same district said that they felt like the expectations were too low for the kids. In my interview for my new school, the administration said that even though we are a low-income school, our students still do the same work as students in suburban schools. I will likely be teaching the lower level 6th grade classes, but they still said we still hold high expectations of all students. I am excited that this is my district's philosophy. I would love to hear how teachers set high expectations for students while still meeting students where they are.

    EDIT: Sorry--I meant to post this in the general education forum, not secondary! Whoops.
     
  2.  
  3. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    514

    Jul 16, 2018

    Just about every school website boasts having "high expectations" of their students. For me, this hackneyed term has become synonymous with lip service. Merely stating that teachers have high expectations of all students does not always equate to what actually takes place at a school. Let me put it this way: As a principal, I may have high expectations of you as a teacher on my staff. However, whether or not you live up to my expectations would depend on what you do to demonstrate a commensurate level of high job performance. Sure, there may be consequences if you are chronically late to work (meet me in my office) or your students consistently perform poorly on standardized tests (professional development) - ultimately it's up to you.

    My point is, it's not what you do to ensure that your high expectations are realized - it's what your students do to make them a reality. Perhaps it's just a matter of semantics, but one's choice of words can often help or hinder progress towards a professional goal. As for me, I learned not to give difficult students an opportunity to challenge my expectations - to this end, I never discussed with my students what I expected of them. Instead, I simply told them what they were to do and they did it. Thanks to my understanding of applying theory to practice and the availability of multimedia, I could even raise the bar by several grade levels and everyone readily learned to jump over it. At least with elementary students, I never had students who complained, "I don't want to do this!" This is an assertive approach that worked for me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  4. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    630
    Likes Received:
    455

    Jul 17, 2018

    You need to set high expectations for behaviour and achievement. Whatever those expectations are, they need to be explicit and within reach. This comes with knowing your students. You can set high behaviour expectations from day one. Set high academic achievements as you get to know the students, their abilities and personalities. As a new teacher, always have a plan when things don’t go as you expected. E.g. what is your behaviour management strategy - first indiscretion what do you do, second indiscretion what do you do etc. When a kid isn’t meeting academic achievements, because of lack of effort or lack of ability, what do you do?
    No matter what expectations you set, be consistent and fair and explicit.
    And it also helps to pick your battles with expectations. E.g. to me, I really dislike rude and backchatting students so I set the expectation for that to never happen in my classroom. I really don’t care if they want to write in pink ink as long as they do the task or I don’t care if their hats are on their heads in class as long as they show up for class on time. Sometimes letting go of small expectations that don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things gives the bigger expectations more importance and let’s the students know that when you put your foot down you mean business.
     
  5. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    514

    Jul 17, 2018

    I've noticed a tendency among some teachers to confuse expectations with rules. By definition, an expectation is a) a belief that something will happen or b) a belief that someone will achieve something. An expectation is a presumption of what you hope will occur based on available information. Rules, on the other hand - as used in the classroom - are regulations or principles governing student conduct. They are not beliefs, but explicit protocol to be followed by everyone.

    Problems arise when the difference between expectations and rules become blurred by the misuse of the two terms. A teacher will occasionally adjust his/her expectations for different students at different times based on a particular activity (e.g. wide achievement gap, special needs, etc.). Although rules may sometimes be modified, they usually remain unchanged. Teachers expect students to follow their rules.

    Instead of referring to them as big or small, expectations are often described as being either realistic or unrealistic. I think it's fair to say that all teachers have many of the same basic expectations of their students - e.g. paying attention, completing assignments, punctuality, etc. Effective teachers establish realistic, variable behavioral and academic expectations commensurate with their students' needs and abilities.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    1,251

    Jul 17, 2018

    I teach low level SPED so my high expectations may be different than a gen ed teacher. I expect my students to complete their daily work on time, to arrive at school fully prepared for the day, to do their homework, and to focus when they are in small group with me.
    I also expect my students to develop friendships with other students and teachers in the school, to participate willingly in school activities, to always be respectful, and to give some thought to their future.
     
  7. That Business Guy

    That Business Guy Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2018
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    11

    Jul 18, 2018

    It is hard to have high expectations when the school does not enforce high expectations; however, that does not mean to lower your expectations. My advice is to reflect on five (or less) areas that you want to strongly enforce and use those five (or less) areas to create your classroom culture.

    I would have high expectations for at least the following: behavior, achievement, quality of work, and time management.

    Also, it is extremely important to enforce the high expectations. If you do not enforce them then your students will not follow them (I learned this from my own mistakes). Sounds simple but very important for a successful classroom.

    Hope this helps!
     
    Ms.Holyoke likes this.
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,552
    Likes Received:
    1,060

    Jul 18, 2018

    No worries: it was easy to fix.
     
    Ms.Holyoke likes this.
  9. Aces

    Aces Habitué

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2018
    Messages:
    820
    Likes Received:
    429

    Jul 19, 2018

    I always think back to jump school when we talk about expectations. Our instructor told us on the first day "My expectations do not change. My bar is set where it is set always. The goal is not to pass that bar on the first day. But rather, the goal is to grow everyday. Something you failed at yesterday you will succeed at tomorrow. And if you don't, I'll put my foot up your a$$ until you do. My job is not to change the expectations to suit your needs. My job is to build you up until you can do it on your own."

    I set high expectations. My class is very pass or fail. You either do outstanding or you flunk and it's always lack of effort on your part.
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  10. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,931
    Likes Received:
    255

    Jul 19, 2018

    When one expects their students to write analytical paragraphs while their science teacher gives extra credit for doing coloring pages it is pretty rough.
     
    Backroads, otterpop and a2z like this.
  11. That Business Guy

    That Business Guy Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2018
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    11

    Jul 19, 2018

    Talk about an uphill battle. Keep fighting to good fight. You’re making a bigger and better impact for preparing them for life.
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,324
    Likes Received:
    552

    Jul 19, 2018

    I have high expectations for behavior and academics. Teachers that do no make my job much more difficult.
     
    a2z likes this.
  13. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    49

    Jul 20, 2018

    "High" and "low" are extremely subjective terms. Have you ever heard anyone claim they have low expectations for students? The key is to define those expectations and explain what you want to see. Think of it the way you think of your principal's expectations for you. This year we had a new principal who told us that she would not give the highest marks on our observations (even though high is just defined as meeting standards) because people always have room to improve. Then she tore everyone apart on the observations over random things like autistic students fidgeting. How confident would you be going in to a situation where you know you'll never meet the expectations?
    You need to have the conversation, then remind students over and over.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,763
    Likes Received:
    1,014

    Jul 20, 2018

    Science teachers give extra credit for coloring pages?! Reminds me of the elementary schools in my hometown that got rid of science and history to replaced them with diversity classes... Only in America.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  15. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    514

    Jul 20, 2018

    In a healthy school environment, students and staff should have high expectations of themselves and of each other. However, that in itself will probably not be enough to get us out of the 20-year slump in academic achievement.
     
    futuremathsprof and a2z like this.
  16. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,628
    Likes Received:
    1,513

    Jul 20, 2018

    Extra credit for batteries. Math pages in MS where the primary focus is coloring it to look good. 10 math problems (simple) and a half hour of coloring... We wonder why our kids are so far behind in math.
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn,
  2. Booksource,
  3. mathmagic,
  4. Leaborb192,
  5. showmelady
Total: 283 (members: 7, guests: 246, robots: 30)
test