Consistency in the use of procedures and strategies is a cornerstone for all the various aspects of good teaching. Clarity is fundamental to consistency. Being clear to your students is vital to establishing a consistent environment. This includes clarity of expectations; clarity of a lesson and clarity of procedures.
One important principle to be consistent with in the classroom is “no arguing with the ref.” There should be no “arguing with the teacher” and his or her decisions. Violating this creates disruption in the classroom. What teachers need to remember and reinforce is when a student argues with the teacher, the arguing is in itself a disruption.
When a student wants to argue, a well-defined procedure will potentially give the student a voice. One example includes a non-verbal hand signal. Rick Smith shares one non-verbal hand signal he uses in his classroom.
“If Twyla disagrees with my decision, they can use the signal T for teacher talk or teacher conversation meaning, I would like to talk to you about this teacher when we have a chance. So when it works well she gives me a T signal, I recognize the T signal, I point to the chair, and not a word is spoken. Twyla gets up, changes seats, and I continue my lesson. Later on when I’m not “on stage” Twyla and I have a conversation.”
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