Second week of my MOOC, Surviving Your Rookie Year, examines the reasons for being consistent with your discipline. According to Fred Jones, you can’t be ‘mostly consistent’ or ‘pretty consistent’. Rookie teachers often make the mistake of letting things slide because of four reasons:
1. Lack of automatic brain response: It’s hard to multi-task when you’re a new teacher still grasping the curriculum.
2. Confrontation aversion: You are scared of conflict with individuals and don’t want to sacrifice ‘relationship capital’.
3. “Maybe it’s me”: You realize you didn’t state your rules clearly and you begin to blame yourself
4. “Picking my battles: You don’t want to interrupt the flow of your lesson or there has been too many things going on that you don’t have the energy to address the issue.
Fred Jones states that an inconsistent teacher sets him/herself up for problems down the road, showing the students that his/her expectations are not important and that they are up for negotiation. It’s important to remember that you don’t set up expectation just to make rules; the foundation for these rules are linked to allowing students to learn better in class.