A common belief among educators is that when you create high expectations for your students, they will work to meet and go beyond them.
But there are different situations for setting classroom expectations for your students. This includes setting rules, classroom sound levels, homework, taking tests and more.
Here are five steps to help you communicate expectations to parents of the children in your entrepreneurial class.
- Create a written list of expectations for your class.
Use experiences from past classes to come up with a list of challenging-but-doable expectations. You might talk with your students at the end of the year to get their ideas on creating classroom rules — then use those ideas to help shape your own ideas into a list. Keep the list short — if there are too many, the list may seem onerous or confusing and may gradually be ignored. Also, be sure to have clear rewards and consequences for obeying or breaking the rules.
- Share your classroom rules and expectations with your students on the first day of class.
First impressions are lasting. Make sharing the list one of the first things that you do — this shows that they are a high priority for you. You might want to have each student sign a document stating that they have read and understand the list of expectations. Or you might give a brief pop quiz to ensure that students understand the expectations. You should also share these expectations with their parents. Consider using your school’s communication methods (such as email) to share these rules for parents to review and/or confirm receiving the list of rules.
- Practice what you preach.
Be a good example of your expectations for your students. Allow them to see what you expect of them and give them chances to practice those behaviors. Plan out some activities or behaviors that clearly show your own adherence to the expectations and point out how you are following your own rules (e.g., promise to get graded papers returned the day after a quiz and, when you distribute the graded papers, point out that this is an example of completing tasks promptly and on schedule.)
- Learn about your students.
Take the time to learn your students’ names within the first few days of class. (A seating arrangement can help you with this.) Look for ways to learn about their background, likes, dislikes, etc. Remember the axiom, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Check in with your students from time to time to learn how they’re doing in and outside of class, too.
- Don’t forget to add fun to the mix.
Learning will be most effective when it is fun. Spice up your lessons with competition, songs, prizes, etc. (Google “education gamification” to get some ideas.)
Takeaways to communicate classroom expectations to students and parents
You can set high expectations for your students and share these expectations with their parents when the school year starts.
Be consistent, be clear, and set a good example to inspire your students to do their best and meet your expectations throughout the school year.