When I learned about a misbehavior today, I was disappointed. It reminded me of just how important it is to set expectations and practice that behavior from the very start of the year. Yet, even when well rehearsed, students slip up and make mistakes.
There's always a range of behavior and experiences in a classroom yet you strive to create a community where everyone respects one another and works toward a high level of care and camaraderie.
As I think about the days left in the year and the start of next year, it's important to slow it down and have those important talks with students--talks about taking care of one another and classroom community. It's important that behavioral expectations are explicit and consequences both predictable and useful with regard to changing behavior for the better.
Ruth Charney in her book, Teaching Children to Care, had it right when she discussed the need to focus the first six weeks of school on teaching children what's expected and practicing that what's been learned.