Student development can sometimes be a daunting task when it involves an elementary school classroom of 18-24 students. Every class has a unique dynamic, personalities, quirks, habits and life experiences. However, if an educator is passionate about teaching beyond the basics and is willing to explore a variety of methods it can be a relatively smooth and rewarding endeavor. Here are 5 areas that need to be addressed in order to achieve this goal:
1. Consistency, boundaries and consequences for student's actions.
-These must be applied on a daily basis. Consequences that apply to all students creates a classroom environment that is positive and places emphasis on productive behavior. When a teacher is consistent, it significantly increases their credibility.
2. Students need to be stretched/pushed/challenged to go beyond what they think they are capable of doing.
-They must be presented with frequent, realistic situations that require critical thinking and experience failure. Critical thinking is a learned skill that requires instruction and practice. Failure is an important stepping stone on the pathway to success that helps develop character.
3. Students need development in order to become physically and emotionally stronger for the future.
-A happy, confident child is one who knows he/she is valued for who they are. Allow them to be the unique person they are and give them ample opportunities to express themselves.
4. Students need to develop a sense of accountability, responsibility and respect.
-Respect for others and oneself is at the core of a person with strong character
5. Teachers need to have "non-negotiable" rules in place.
-When designing your rules, you must keep in mind that they should be clear, comprehensive and enforceable. Do not leave room for interpretation.