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For students to have freedom, they must have choices. They must not be bogged down in rules and regulations. When students have choices, they wonít have need to create destructive choices of their own.
In school, learning should be fun. Learning is always fun when learning is useful and students want to learn what is being taught. Imagine students having fun learning! Isnít that dream of teachers everywhere? When your students are having fun, you do too.
I know this sounds like an impossible task but there are many schools doing just that with training in Dr. William Glasserís Choice Theory. Creating a need-satisfying environment is what actually eliminates discipline problems. If someone has a legitimate, appropriate way to get his/her needs met, then there is no reason to create discipline problems.
Switching courses over to a competency-based approach is critical to Quality School concept. Students are not permitted to get credit for less than B work and they have opportunities to improve their work until it meets minimum standard for a B. Concepts are taught in such a way that reduces need for memorizing facts that can be found in any encyclopedia or text.
This and more speaks to second condition of quality that students will only be asked to do useful work. It is teacherís job to convince students that what they are being asked to do is useful in real world. If you are successful in that endeavor, you will have willing students. Wouldnít that make your job more enjoyable for you?
The final condition of quality is self-evaluation. Students are asked to grade their own work. There are two essential items that must be met in order to get accurate self-evaluations from students. First, they must have no fear that teacher or anyone else will hurt them with an honest self-evaluation. Second, there must be a clear rubric in place that will give students a model against which to compare their own work.
Self-evaluation does not replace need of teacher or teacherís aide (another student already judged to be competent in that particular area) from corroborating studentís self-evaluation. Students are not punished for less than competent work. Rather they are shown where their work is lacking and given opportunity to fix it. This, again, is a skill that is seen everyday in real world. Rarely do people actually loss their jobs for substandard work. They are told what is wrong and asked to fix it.
Of course this is just a thumb nail sketch of what is necessary to become a Quality School but if you or anyone you know is interested in learning more, visit www.coachingforexcellence.biz and check our calendar for upcoming teleclasses, chats and workshops.
Kim Olver is a licensed professional counselor and a life/relationship coach. She helps people unleash their personal power by living from the inside out, focusing their time and energy on only those things they can control. She also helps people improve the quality of their relationships with the important people in their lives.