Basically, I believe everyone can be good. I expect students to have a positive identity and become a good member of our classroom community as well as in society; in the lunchroom, specials, and on the playground.
I believe in spending a great deal of time on building a community of love, friendship, learning, safety, fun, entertainment, inquiry, celebrations and sharing. We learn best as we share our findings with others. We love and appreciate others when we spend the time to get to know them.
I believe this is a tender age at 8 and 9. It is a time to learn about accountability and self-control. It is also a time to learn about conflict and resolution. I expect students to progress through self-awareness and understand the feelings and point of view of their peers and adapt to make themselves emotionally intelligent.
Our children rarely sit still at home. We wonder how are they expected to sit still at school? It takes practice. It takes managing breaks and to move around when necessary and sit when expected. I believe students can sit for at least 40 minutes of time before they get too restless. We move around the room and around the school quite often throughout the day.
Students are able to earn class points for a reward of their collective choosing. Students are also earning behavior bucks for their individual spending. Students are verbally praised, hugged and valued in my classroom. When there is need for correction, I verbally poise the question to the student as to why I want their behavior to be modified. Sometimes there will be forgiveness and an agreement on starting over again and other times a teaching moment for learning what is expected as appropriate behavior.
In the end, students will always know they are loved. Their lives have meaning and purpose.