Chapter 8 is titled “No Excuses Begins with Staff.” I highlighted a lot in this chapter. It made up for chapters 6-7 where there wasn’t too much notable information, for me anyway. Here are the choicest gems from the chapter. I highlighted several more, but these were the most significant to me.
Some [educators] insist that their job duties are too large and their paycheck is too small, yet the funny things is…they keep showing up to work. […] Educators like these place a tremendous responsibility on students and parents and demand a level of excellence from others that they don’t from themselves. (Lopez 109)
Too often, educators focus on discipline rather than behavior modification. […] Consequences should never be doled out without an adult taking the time to reinforced appropriate behavior. When we fail to teach appropriate behavior, we are destined to find ourselves in the same exact situation with the same exact student in the future. (Lopez 116-117)
“Any adult can discipline a student, but it takes a true teacher to help change behavior” (Lopez 118).
If I demand excellence from my students, I must demand excellence from myself. If I’m going to give my students a hard time for not getting their assignments done on-time, I should not allow excuses for myself when I do not meet deadlines placed on me. This includes taking work up to the office, running a report, answering and e-mail, whatever. There should never be a standard set for others that I do not meet and exceed myself. This idea, unfortunately, feeds the workaholic in me, but I still value its truth.
I haven’t struggled with serious behavior issues since my second year teaching. Yes, I’ve had the occasional student who I struggled to actively engage in class, but for the most part, students like/respect me enough to do what I ask after being asked once. However, over the years there have been many students with whom I have revisited the same behavior repeatedly. There are a few this year as well. I really want to focus on positive reinforcement more than ever this year as well as focus on behavior modification. I desire to actually teach my students to be young adults who make good choices simply because it’s the right thing to do.