Q: How do I begin implementing the T.E.T. model in the classroom?
A: Unlike other classroom management programs, T.E.T. is one whose use you needn’t conceal from your students. At the beginning of the term you can share with the class that you’re going to be communicating openly with them using some new skills that you’ve learned, that you will attempt to always be considerate of their needs and feelings, and that you hope that they will reciprocate. This is a perfect time for you to have a discussion about what rules students and teachers are expected to follow throughout the term, and what actions are to be taken should they be broken. Teachers are often surprised at how enthusiastically students respond to this more so when students come up with rules more strict than teachers themselves would have chosen.
When students are involved in rule-setting, chances that rules will be adhered to are higher because of a concept called the Principle of Participation.
Q: Every class has a couple of trouble-makers; will this method work even with them?
A: No method of classroom manangement is effective 100% of the time as there are too many internal thoughts and feelings that affect students’ behavior. More often than not students respond positively to the T.E.T. model because–in the absence of teachers’ use of coercive power–there is nothing there to rebel against. Teachers can still confront children when they do something they don’t like, but they do so in a way that makes students want to cooperate.
Q: If I have to listen to every student and negotiate over every little thing, won’t that leave me with no time to teach?
A: At first it may seem that way. Students may be carrying around a lot of unresolved anger, frustration, resentment, shame, self-doubt, and a myriad of other feelings. When encountering a teacher with listening skills they’ll be so relieved that they’ll open up and share the things that bother them. But the secret of T.E.T. is that it allows students to get to the root of their problem so they can eradicate it instead of bottling it up. It is this bottling up of feelings that very often leads to misbehavior, the kind that often can persist for the remainder of the term. When you step back and look at the big picture you’ll see that that little bit of extra effort right now saves countless hours of aggravation and stress.
Q: Can I run my classes using the T.E.T model even though there are other teachers or school administrators who still use power-based methods at my school?
A: Sure. Some students, unaccustomed to the freedom you allow them, will be tempted to try and get away with certain un-welcomed behaviors at first. But you’ll find that your relationship with these students will quickly improve. Think back to when you were a student. Which teacher would you respond to better, one who lays down the law and who isn’t concerned with your feelings and ideas, or one who is fair and kind and who asserts her or his needs without bashing your self-esteem?
Every school has a handful of “favorite teachers.” Those who make their classroom an enjoyable, rewarding experience for the students and who treat them like people win their students’ hearts and minds every time.
For more information, please contact us: