Last year I had the opportunity to teach at an area middle school. It had
been over 25 years since I was in a classroom. The students quickly
demonstrated that a courteous classroom climate was an assumption that
no longer be taken as a given.
For this group of students, identifying core values was a prerequisite to
having an equitable classroom climate. If I had not taken the time for
to identify and develop their own core values, as a group, I would never
been able to use the equity strategies.
Kids are a lot more street smart today. They don't sit back and blindly
accept authority. However, they still identify the same values (honestly,
kindness, trust, love, etc.) that most human respect. Adolescents don't
to be different. Once their peer group identifies the values upon which
classroom behavior will be built, this teacher found that equity strategies
were no longer an uphill battle. The kids would actually help bring those
silent students into discussion. What a joy for everyone.
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