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So this morning I woke up, and of course because it’s a Saturday, I started off checking social media as I waited for my coffee to finish brewing. As I was scrolling through Twitter though, I cam across this post from Edutopia:

“We can’t expect students to be excellent if we don’t model that for them.”

This quote really struck a chord in me as soon as I saw it. As an educator it is extremely important that we model the same behavior that we expect from our students. This type of modeling is important whether you teach at the elementary level, high school or the junior high level. Each one of our students needs to have role models, not only in their homes, but in every aspect of their lives.

It’s amazing how much our students notice the little things. Speaking from my personal experiences only, I have had many students this year talk to me about going to the Kroc Center (our local gym by the Salvation Army). Many of these students become excited when they know that I also go to the same gym and want to talk to me about the classes that I take there or the workouts that I do.  This allows my students to see that not only do I set goals for myself in the classroom and as a teacher, but that I have goals to try and maintain a healthy lifestyle as well.

As an English teacher, I find it extremely important that my students continue to read. As mentioned in previous posts, the high school that I work at has SSR (Silent Sustained Reading) most Wednesdays after announcements. I believe that I should encourage students to be reading, as so to model this behavior, I always have a book that I am currently reading with me. I try to make sure that it is a book that we are not reading (or are going to be reading) as a class. I want to open up discussions about different types of books and interests with my students.

I also let my students know that it’s okay to laugh at yourself if you make a mistake. I let them know that making a mistake is not something to be ashamed of and that it’s always easy to make a correction if you are wrong. There have been different instances where I have admitted to my students, “I read that wrong; the answer should be _____.” When I haven’t known the answer to something right away, “I’m not sure about that, but let’s look it up.” and they are more comfortable themselves then saying that they are not sure of an answer, but they’re also more willing to try.

However, I do not just try to model the behaviors inside of the classroom. As a track coach, I and the other coaches I work with, model the behaviors that we expect to see from our team. I also make sure that when we are doing workouts, I am able to show my kids how to do different types of exercises or drills. To keep them safe, I want them to know how to correctly execute each thing and then they can also improve from there.

As educators it is important that we always try to model the behaviors that we expect from our students. Is it always going to happen? Of course not, we’re human too. (shocking! haha) But we must be aware that our actions reflect back to our students as well.

If you have any instances of students modeling behavior, or any fun stories, please feel free to share!