Setting High Academic Expectations

Setting High Academic Expectations

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  • Strategy 1: Changing My Own Behavior by identifying Where I See Low Expectation and How I Treat Low-expectancy Students
  • Which students do I have low-expectancy thoughts? Why is that? How can I change my behavior in order to help those students succeed? What should I be doing differently?
  • Strategy 2: Create a Classroom Climate and Culture that Nurtures All Learners
  • We are a kind and safe classroom. Therefore, all interactions will be respectful. We are inquisitive. Therefore, all questions are safe to ask and all answers will be given respect.
  • Strategy 3: Ensure Students are Valued, Respected and Feel Safe through Verbal and NonVerbal Gestures  
  • Thanks Kathy, I appreciate your willingness to move away from Jane so you can both be learners today. And Perry, thanks for coming to the rug straight away! Don't forget to get a "high-five" from me after circle time
  • The goal here is to self-assess, being honest about potential bias. The effectiveness of this strategy is to change patterns of behavior towards those students for whom I have low-expectations so that these students can feel successful. This strategy may seem fake at first but, being cognizant of my behavior, and willing to change it, will help me set high expectations for all of my students. Setting these high expectations and making students aware of them builds accountability and integrity and will lead to all students learning at a higher level.
  • The goal here is to create and sustain a classroom where the expectation for everyone who is part of the classroom community is safety, kindness and respect. (This includes para-professionals, parent volunteers and admin). Setting these expectations and holding everyone accountable to them, is imperative as it will help create a climate of high expectations. Setting high standards is effective in raising the morale of all students. The trick is to maintain high expectation levels while simultaneously ensuring that these expectations are attainable for all students. 
  • The goal of this strategy is to increase the positive interactions the low-expectancy student has with the teacher. Both verbal and non-verbal dismissals from a teacher to a student are easy for the student to internalize, thus affecting their overall behavior both inside and outside of class time. The effect of engaging in behaviors like proximity, eye contact, smiling, safe and gentle physical touch, expressions of gratitude affects the climate in such a way as to create a positive feedback loop and invites all students to learn at higher levels.
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