Aviation regulations stipulate that the operator of an aircraft orally brief all passengers about safety information before take-off. Whether you’ve flown once, a hundred times, or anywhere in between, you’ve undoubtedly heard the announcement about seat belts, emergency exits, oxygen masks, life vests, electronic devices, and how we are forbidden to tamper with or disable the smoke detectors in the bathroom.
I amuse myself by fantasizing that one day the flight attendant will ask each boarding passenger, “Have you ever flown before?” and if we all say, “Yes,” she’ll say, “Good. I don’t have to give the safety speech today.”
It will never happen. So, in addition to other things, be ready to hear this:
“To fasten your seat belt, place the flat end into the buckle. Adjust the strap to tighten or lengthen. To open, lift the top of the buckle and pull the belt free. It is a requirement that you wear your seat belt whenever you are seated.”
I’d be surprised if every person on the plane hadn’t been independently and successfully fastening a seat belt for years. So why do we need to hear it?
Because clear expectations lead to mutual understanding and increased performance toward the desired results.
The same benefits exist for us when we review expectations, routines, and procedures in our classrooms. It’s why you might frequently hear me say, “When we go down the hall to lunch, we will face the front, keep our hands to ourselves, and keep our voices off so we won’t distract the students who are learning.”
It’s why so many of us in this community frequently preface a Daily 5 round with a review of what independence will look like:
“As you go to your Daily 5 selection,
- choose a spot where you will be successful,
- get started right away,
- work quietly the whole time, and
- ignore distractions.”
Students may already know it. They may have heard it every week for three years. But an explicit, timely review helps to create a classroom where the expectations remain clear, the day runs more smoothly, and everyone, whether they’ve “flown” or not, knows just what it takes to be successful.