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“We live up to the expectations placed upon us”


To a certain extent, rules are negative and expectations are positive. Students hate rules. In courses for school crisis intervention, instructors recommend not saying the word rule because it will incite or escalate the situation. Rules restrict freedom. The word rule is generally associated with the word obey and no person is ever comfortable with obeying another person.

Since rules are negative and generally focus on what we do not want to see, most administrators and teachers try to limit the number of rules they have in school and class. Students are not told all of the things we would like to see them learn and do, but are only told a few things that they should not do. This sets very low expectations .

In the introduction, the very positive results of using problem solving in an alternative school were presented. Although problem solving was responsible for most of the success at this school, there was another major factor involved. This factor was changing student expectations . Initially, the school’s culture was more of a psychiatric treatment center than a regular school. The focus was on behavior, not academics. More time was spent on punishing than teaching. The choice was to expect treatment center behavior or regular school behavior. The school chose to focus on teaching and academics. The bar was raised to requiring a grade of 75 or higher in every class in order to be eligible to return to the regular campus. Roles for the students were defined to be one of a successful learner, not a seriously emotionally disturbed adolescent. Although the change took time, it worked.

In another example at a state mental hospital, the Director of the school program described her school as having chaos instead of order. Their two classrooms were continuously disrupted by aggressive behaviors and the staff would subdue the students (patients) and take them back to their rooms. Like the alternative school, she decided to change the expectations for her program. She painted the entry wall to look like the front of a school building. She replaced the tables and beanbag chairs with desks. She made it look and feel like a real school. She reported that she now had student behavior in the classrooms even though they still had mental hospital behavior outside the classroom. What you expect from the students is what you will get!

If we focus on what we want the students to learn and do, we end up with a long list of learning outcomes (academic and social) that we want our students to master. We choose the positive side - goals and high expectations . This positive view has a profound effect on the school culture. The task becomes one of what expectations do we need to set for students to see a school expecting great things for each student versus obeying school rules.

Practical application

  • Change class and school rules to expectations (the positive view).
  • Compare the expectations of lower and higher grade levels and ensure there is a consistent increase in expectation as the student matures.
  • Consult faculty, parents, and students in setting expectations .
  • Compare the level of freedoms with the level of expectations . Greater freedoms offer opportunities for higher expectations . In many schools today, sixth-graders have the same freedoms as first-graders. This makes little sense and sets a very low expectation for sixth-graders.
  • Consider your feelings about the students. If you have to choose between sympathy and frustration, choose frustration. Showing students sympathy when they fail teaches them that you expect very little. Frustration, on the other hand, shows the students that you truly believe they can do better.
  • A final consideration for setting high expectations is to be consistent with the school handbook. Perhaps a better way of stating this would be to make sure the student handbook is consistent with your school and classroom expectations. Student handbooks are horrible! They are, for the most part, a long list of infractions, punishments, and fines. They are the product of school lawyers, not caring educators.

Student handbooks are necessary for many reasons. It is essential to have rules and any fines or loss of privileges listed in case of litigation. But this does not have to be the entire handbook. Where is the welcoming, we care about you, the goals we have for you? If we can re-write our negative school and classroom rules into positive expectations , then we certainly can do the same in the handbook. Somewhere between the legal needs of the district and the principal’s and teachers’aspirations for the students is the answer. After you have developed your positive student expectations and included them in the school handbook, be sure to consult with the central office to ensure consistency, while meeting necessary legal requirements.

In conclusion for this task, you need to be aware that your expectations are going to change. After teaching problem solving (also decision-making), you will want to increase your expectations as you see the students develop and improve. This is a sign of success. Be sure to include in your expectations that students will be able to solve problems and learn from their experiences. All the others are up to you and your vision for your students.

Expected outcomes

  • Class and school become more positive places to be.
  • Students learn and mature at a faster rate.
  • Expectations for students are increased and performance increases.
  • Students’ self-esteem is increased.
  • A more positive relationship between the principal, teacher, and the students is built.
  • Disruptive behaviors are greatly reduced.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, A learning approach to school discipline: problem solving instead of punishing. OpenStax CNX. Sep 07, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10443/1.5
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