Here’s an image: class trip to Washington, DC without a tour guide! What if you, as the teacher, don’t have the experience or expertise to offer insights into the many historical landmarks located there? An experienced tour guide would lead your students toward a greater understanding of the city and its significance. A tour guide would make all the difference!
Teachers serve as tour guides for their students when they provide them with insights, directions, support, and assistance all along the way! Words of Guidance, in the classroom, give students a positive and supportive path to appropriate behavior, strong character, and academic success. These words offer students concrete advice—”Next time do/try this…Consider this…Here’s another way.” Words of Guidance will strengthen the Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) efforts in your school, as they provide clear directions and differentiated assistance for each student.
As teachers use Words of Guidance, they model clear direction to students. Modeling what you expect to see and using language you expect to hear from your students is the greatest way of leading by example and turning abstract concepts into concrete observable behaviors. Modeling an abstract concept like “respect” and discussing what it sounds like with your class provides clear guidance and helps students learn how to demonstrate respect for themselves and others. The ultimate goal of using Words of Guidance is help students become self-managed and equipped with the knowledge and experiences to serve as “tour guides” for their peers and others.
The following Best Practice Language (BPL) examples highlight Words of Guidance that are used in the classroom:
“If you find yourself having a moment when you really want to say something that you shouldn’t—Stop—Think of all of the other possibilities—And choose your words carefully.”
“If you need somebody to talk to or you’ve got a problem that you think might cause you to act out in class—then come pull me to the side one-on-one before we get class started.”
“When you’re dealing with the peer-pressures of trying to ‘fit in with the crowd’—remember that your true friends are those people who like you no matter what.”
Remember…Some students need to be taught how to interact with others. We can rehearse, role-play, model good behavior and discuss the issue together.
Remember…Instead of admonishing students for ‘what they don’t do’ offer assistance and guidance toward ‘what to do!’
Remember…Instead of always saying ‘No’ to students consider a ‘Yes with Guidance’. For example, when a student asks to go to the library instead of saying, “No, now is not the time to go to the library.” Say, “Yes, you can go right after we finish this lesson.“
This post is part ten in a series of posts on what Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) “sounds like” in the classroom. The original post can be found at: eyeoneducation.com