Rituals and Routines: Are you managing or disciplining?

Establishing respectful norms and consistency creates an environment in which students can focus on being their creative best.

Photo of Gregg Austin
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The Wongs have been around for a while and the basic common sense to classroom management is sound.  I buy every new first-year teacher I come in contact at my school the Wong's book, The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher.  As a high school teacher, I tell them that although the book appears to be focused on primary school, the basic ideas and concepts are universal--adopt the advice as you will, but above all be yourself but understand and address the needs of your students.

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Photo of Elsa Fridman Randolph

Hi Gregg,

I really appreciated the point Mr. Wong raises about the need to set clear expectations for procedure in the classroom. This seems like an important point of transfer in trying to create a culture of innovation-- what are the norms, the habits and the rituals that are expected within that context? Once the constraints and expectations are clearly laid out, learning/innovating [pushing past the known/status quo] becomes much more effective, self-directed and empowering. Another point of transfer: taking risks, which is a crucial capacity both within learning and innovating, is discouraged and avoided in a culture/setting where the emphasis is on discipline. Interesting provocation to think about creating cultural norms where the focus is on managing capacities rather than disciplining behavior. Thanks for sharing!