Saturday, August 9, 2008

Be-Attitudes for the Start of the Year

This past week I spent a few hours in my classroom, moving desks, rearranging bookshelves, setting up bulletin boards. I pulled out my "Be-Attitudes Poster," a one-foot by four-foot poster I made years ago and have used as my reminders of how to Be-have in class. I call them Be-attitudes because attitude really shapes behavior. Get the attitude right and you've got behavior taken care of. So up go the "Be-Attitudes" on the front wall of my classroom.

Mr. Youngs' 12 Be-Attitudes, or Ways of BE-ing in Class
1. BE on time.
2. BE ready.
3. BE safe.
4. BE courteous.
5. BE heard.
6. BE hungry for ideas!
7. BE-autiful already.
9. BE personal.
8. BE done already with the restroom.
10. BE silent during tests.
11. BE original.
12. BE civil.

The poster is shorthand for what is on my syllabus and class policies orientation sheet.
1. BE on time. Have book bags stowed, English notebooks, textbooks, and any homework ready.
2. BE ready. Study before class. Don't simply read assignments, study them, know them. Bring materials--notebook, pencil, completed homework, books as assigned. Sit in assigned seats or as directed. The instructor plans to start at the bell; you should, also.
3. BE safe. No horseplay; stay alert--no slouching.
4. BE courteous. No side-talking, back-talk, blurting out, pointless noise nor distraction. No profanity, harassment, hate-speech, vulgarity! Use good manners, etiquette, and courtesy. No hats--show others respect. If you have something to say, raise your hand.
5. BE heard. Speak up! Practice public speaking skills and care enough to be heard.
6. BE hungry for ideas! No candy, food or drink. Any snack items will be discarded.
7. BE-autiful already. No vanity items such as mirrors, lipstick, makeup or brushes. Why embarrass yourself and others by seeming vain? Let only your hair stylist know your secrets.
8. BE done already with the restroom. Plan to use the restroom virtually NEVER during class time. Do so between classes and during lunch--that's eighty minutes of rest! Furthermore, asking to leave class is a bothersome interruption to the teacher and the whole class to issue a pass. If one were to use the restroom once a week, he would miss nearly a full week of class time in the year; once-a-day and he would miss more than the equivalent of twenty-two classes! Don't flush your education away.
9. BE personal. Never submit homework or other assignments on the teacher's desk. Submit work to a person, such as the instructor or the Building #4 secretary.
10. BE silent during tests. No communicating or cheating anytime during test days until all tests are collected. First offense is a penalty of 7% on your score; second offense is a penalty of receiving zero for a grade. Cheating is reported to the principal.
11. BE original. Plagiarism is "copying someone's words, work, or ideas" and is not tolerated. It is cheating; it is theft. To repeat: rewording someone's words or ideas is plagiarism. Nothing is duller than using someone else's work. Be brilliant! Be original!
12. BE civil. The instructor dismisses the class, not the bell. Let whomever is talking at the end of class finish--chance are information that'll be important to you is being offered. In any case, offer other people human dignity by showing your civility. In short, BE NICE. You will find the teacher responds well to courtesy, friendliness, scholarship, and hard work. Good attitudes and good class participation count along with good results toward good grades, especially when you really need it.


rddietrich said...

Great blog. I love your posts and learn a lot!

Ramona Dietrich

ceyo said...

Ah, Ramona, a compliment is the best comment! This is the first day of my school year. It was great! And getting your kind words made my day. Thanks.