I saw this my first year teaching. A 20+ Year veteran and coach would be able to take a day off or take a mid class bathroom break and not have to worry about her students deviating from her expectations. This is the same teacher that wisely told me to control what I could control. Her class was always an inspiration for me. She didn't always get all 2s or 3s on her spot observations, but her students knew what was expected of them, the parents knew, and she refused to compromise or budge on her expectations.
Early on I experimented with the idea of a class sheriff. I made a star and everything. The students loved it, but sometimes the power went to their heads and they would upset the other student by overly enforcing rules on certain kids and ignoring their friends' bad behavior. This was like watching myself early on be harder on kids that were not performing well in my class and allowing more freedom to those that were. The playing of favorites wasn't helpful.
Today, three of my kids corrected each others' uniforms as they entered my class. It was funny to them, but the point was that they know I expect their shirts tucked in and for them to be in dress code. I didn't have to tell them. I didn't have to call anyone out. They enforced the rules themselves, in a productive way, and are now doing group work without a need for much intervention from me. I'm proud of them, but, in a brief moment of arrogance, I'm proud of me too. Go me. Great way to end my week.
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