Here is a breakdown of what’s involved in “Think BIG & be SMART 4R students”:
BUILD positive relationships with students, which is the key to equitable and safe schools. Positive relationships are critical in developing mutual respect and cooperation and maintaining open lines of communication. We believe with every ounce of our being that students are not interested in how much teachers know, but they are interested in how much they care. Teachers should focus on positive words and ideas that support a well-managed, proactive classroom. They should BUILD trust, respect, appreciation, hope, and community. By doing so, they’ll be well on their way to building the type of classroom they’ve always wanted.
IDENTIFY the problem behavior by asking critical questions. Some of these include:
The objective is not to escalate the situation by misjudging someone’s actions. Teachers can encourage positive behavior while also pro-actively mitigating unwanted behavior. To do so, though, they need to reflect on their students’ strengths, weaknesses, likes/dislikes, barriers to positive behaviors, behavior patterns, and potential behavioral issues.
GIVE students the following:
By giving students attention when they are on-task and cooperating, teachers will help create a positive environment and a well-managed classroom.Also, by giving students room for error, teachers won’t hold them to ridiculously high standards that they’ll never meet. They should use minor disruptions as teachable moments and use positive reinforcement techniques to reinforce desired behaviors.Remember: the Think BIG program is intended to function as a flexible guide for how teachers choose to 1) interact with students and 2) create their classroom environment. Participants in our training program won’t find a list of specific things they must say. Instead, these are fundamental concepts that can be used to guide their everyday interactions with students.For example, we believe wholeheartedly in the benefits of building positive relationships with students. We are 100% convinced that teachers’ lives (and their students’ lives) will be infinitely more manageable and more enjoyable when they take the time to connect with their students.But notice that we didn’t tell teachers how to do that. That’s because we trust teachers to do what works for them. They are, after all, the experts when it comes to their students and their teaching style.