What I noticed is that despite the title, many class agreements are still rule lists. In a PYP school, each working group (teacher or student) begins to create an “essential agreement”. In the classroom, this means that teachers do not impose rules, but everyone works together to reach an agreement on how the classroom works. At first I was a little confused, but then I had to smile. When I said it wasn`t about the rules, it was about the essential agreements, I realized that they were the same for him. Teachers in some schools are now beginning to move away from using the word “rules” to use the word “agreements.” What are the differences between rules and agreements in the classroom? The rules are imposed. They are defined for compliance purposes. Violations of the rules should be sanctioned in order to obtain the power of the rule. The rules are “about people.” The place of control is external and teaches us that we do not have power – so we are pushed to obedience rather than inner motivation. In a PYP school, every class, every team, even the whole school, has an essential agreement that sets the tone for collaboration and teamwork.
Otherwise, how would we know what the common norms and expectations are? There are endless ways to develop such agreements, and as this is the start of a new school year in Australia, all of our teams and classes have been working on theirs. I`m so impressed with how you`ve pushed your students to think beyond the rules. With the right guided tour, students come with the most detailed thoughts. Reading the essential chord was such a pleasure, the children have a very unique way of expressing the world in their own way. Essential Agreements are essentially a list of agreements that are important for balance in our classroom. They essentially consist of good attitudes, reinforce the characteristics of the learning profile and are simply essential for a respectful and fluid environment. They are expected to stay awake all year round for everyone to see. You can of course complete and adapt them if the possibilities arise.
But for the most part, you want those babies to get up and up in that first month. This is essential. The beginning of the school year has always been exciting, not only for the students, but also for the teachers. As teachers, we would never know which child we will be dealing with all year round. It is therefore important to conclude an essential agreement at the beginning of the academic year, because we want to establish a quality and favorable class. Learner profile posters are indispensable as they describe the characteristics of a learner, and as we do every day, it is important that children are able to see the language of the learner profile and have the posters under our noses, as we constantly refer to these learning characteristics. Each unit of study focuses on specific characteristics of the learner`s profile, with the parameters integrated into the descriptors. Check your planners to find out what the focus is for everyone. I like to show a big red arrow, greasy, on the features (and key concepts) that are our focus for each unit. Another blog post I recently created deals with my favorite books to boost the learner`s profile.