I am teaching my kindergarten students how to tease me in a good way. Sometimes they go too far and I let them know. Most days, they tell me they are “kindergarten class A” – when they are really kindergarten class C. We teach people how to treat us with what we do and do not allow. The good news is, if we don’t like how we’re being treated, we have the power to change that by changing our actions/reactions. Our boundaries will not be the same as the teacher next door and that’s ok. Everyone has their own comfort level. Here are some important boundaries to consider with our students.
- Speech – what is an ok way of talking in our classroom and what is not? What is an ok way of talking to me and what is not? Will I let them raise their voice if they are upset? (I remind them that saying it louder does not mean I will agree.)
- Noise level – what noise level is ok in my classroom? (I tend to have a higher noise tolerance than many teachers.) How do I make sure the students stay within that zone and what do I do when they are too loud?
- Cleanliness – what level of cleanliness do I need in my classroom? (Mine is very high.) How often will I have them clean out their desks? Will they help clean the room every day? (Yes!)
- Work – what do I expect from work done in the classroom? What do I expect form work done at home? What are the consequences of not doing work?
When we set out our expectations at the beginning of the year, or the day if we are Substitute Teachers, we are setting out our boundaries. We need to let the students know what happens when they cross our boundaries. Then, we need to follow through with what we said when they do cross our boundaries. (You drew an apple – haha – on my desk, you erase it.) We can also introduce new boundaries or new consequences when we find we need different boundaries than the ones we started with and that is ok. No bringing grasshoppers into my classroom was one of my boundaries one year!