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Behavior expectations: the power of repeating

Date: March 8th, 2017
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: How many times do I have to repeat myself? You get a behavior plan on your desk, whatever you do, don’t go back to the person who wrote it and say, “Oh my God, I’ve had this for three days, it ain’t changing their behavior. Give me another one.”

We know that repeating ourselves is the best thing that we possibly have. The other thing we know is that consistency is all about repeating yourself. It’s about walking down the hall and reminding kids not to run. It’s about saying to them, “Hey, no running, no running.” It’s about, “Hey, make sure you walk, make sure you walk.” It’s not about, “Come here, come here. Now go back and walk.”

We don’t have to do that in our system. We don’t have to write kids up, older kids, for having their cellphone out or having their hat on.

Because if every single adult in our building, walked down the hall and just reminded kids and enforced the rule, just told them, “Don’t run, walk. Don’t run, walk. Don’t run, walk,” after about the first six weeks of school, which is that magical number, and they see an adult down the hall, what are they going to do?

They are going to stop and they are going to walk. Because the adults have been so consistent that it’s effective.

But when that third or fourth adult walks down the hall and goes, “Uggrh! I’m not going to tell them to stop running. No one else is doing it.” That really destroys our system!