Expectations – The teacher communicates high expectations for student learning.
The first professional standard criteria which students at Seattle Pacific University are graded and the Danielson Framework, which residency and professional teachers are evaluated upon, is “Expectations”. As a student intern in a 2nd grade class, I have come to appreciate the necessity of setting good expectations for students. When a teacher sets clear and consistent expectations for a classroom, students are positioned for success.
My internship placement is with a highly impacted 2nd grade classroom. In order to accomplish tasks, and ensure time is efficiently and effectively used, communicating clear expectations is essential. The great classroom management guru, Harry Wong (2009), insists a teacher spend most of the first week of school, and even throughout the full first month of school, reviewing expectations for procedures in the class. Expectations for ALL activities should be engrained in students, such that time does not have to continually be taken up during instruction throughout the year. At the beginning of the year, my mentor teacher spent considerable time doing just as Wong suggests. By the time my internship began in February, most students could independently complete a variety of procedures without having to ask for assistance or instruction. Two examples of expectations set for students include reading independently and math stations. These expectations were verbally articulated to students. In the future, I would create anchor charts such as figure 1 and figure 2 to support and remind my students continually throughout the year.
Communicating expectations must continue to occur at varying points within the school year and even each day. Without expectations, students flounder and opportunity for learning is lost. Expectations must be given for behavior, assignments, procedures and activities. During my internship, I have learned expectations must also be communicated about how to play at recess and even how to cut out paper for an activity. My students struggle with interacting with peers at recess and have benefited from conversations I have had where I set expectations for how to play with others outside of the class.
Clear classroom expectations create an environment in which all students can learn, be successful and thrive. When students know what is expected of them, they can feel safe and confidant in their abilities to preform given assignments and activities.
Figure 1 (Math Stations)
Figure 2 (Reading on your own)
Wong, H., & Wong, R. (2009). The First Days of School. Mountain View, CA: Harry K. Wong Publications.