Category: educational priorities

Today’s Title Is… Classroom Priorities

Today’s Title Is… Classroom Priorities

Teachers have so many decisions to make each day regarding instruction and classroom management. I found over the years that there were “smaller” specific issues that I could deal with quickly so that they didn’t take up a lot of time and didn’t have a lasting affect on my instruction. It’s not that they didn’t matter, it’s that, in the scheme of things, they were not as big a priority. Here are 5 issues that can and should be handled quickly and then moved on from.

  1. Swearing: Yes, we all know that there are certain words that aren’t appropriate for school. That being said, if one of my students came up to tell me that a classmate swore, I usually asked what they said. Sometimes they’d share and sometimes they were embarrassed. Then I asked them to spell it. In the end, I’d remind the offending student that we didn’t use that language in school. That was it. I don’t remember ever having a repeat offender.
  2. Head lice: When head lice showed up in our school, we’d get a notice to bring our class to the nurse for “head checks”. I simply let the kids know that it’s a common problem, anyone can get them, and we’d all be getting our heads looked at- me included.
  3. Cheating: My kids knew from Day 1 that honesty was a priority for me. If I suspected a kid of cheating I just reminded everyone¬†about the importance of doing your own work, etc. and that I didn’t want to single out someone for cheating, in part because of the embarrassment it would bring, but I would if necessary.
  4. Kids w/o pencils, etc.: It did bother me when a student ran out of every day supplies like pencils, but it was never worth making a big deal out of it. I either gave him/her an extra or a classmate would. Other than expecting a thank you, that’s all there was to it.
  5. Leaving the classroom for extra help: Whether for academic reasons, counseling, etc. I never made it a big deal. If it came up, I just used the analogy of a professional athlete, singer, etc. having a coach and reminded kids that we all need help or guidance to improve.