No Series: Setting the Tone from Day One

Setting the Tone from Day One

Lesson Objective: Communicate clear expectations
All Grades / All Subjects / Expectations
2 MIN

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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. What is the relationship between tone and expectations?
  2. Mr. Romagnolo says, "Your expectations are what you allow them to do, not what you say." How could you apply this distinction in your own class?
  3. What could you do if a positive tone wasn't set on the first day?

225 Comments

  • Private message to Megan Fallin

Setting the tone happens before anyone's ever in your classroom. Your classroom expectations must be made clear on day one, to establish a self-maintaining, respectful environment between the teacher and the students. I feel like when students know what's expected of them, at most any age, you're less likely to see moments of them acting out.

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  • Private message to Leonardo Vargas Jr

Tone and expectation starts day one before you set foot in the classroom, first impressions are everything. To ensure the students will want to learn, set some rules, in this case no talking and if someone talks go back out into the class and do it again. What I believe they mean by "your expectations are what you allow them to do, not what you say" is that by having the kids go back ourside of the classroom if they talk you are allowing them to make the choice whether to learn or not. I can implement this in my classroom by if theres too much talking going on I will not continue the lesson. I can maybe make a "shh" gesture with my hand as well to urge them to stay quiet. What I could do if a positive tone was not set on the first day is on the second day speak to the students on the behavior of yesterday and restart and further explain those expectations.

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  • Private message to Ramon Batista

My Thoughts,

  1. What is the relationship between tone and expectation?

Mr. Romagnolo states that “ Expectations and tone are parallel relationships that need to be set on day 1 of school. You need to be firm in order to be taken seriously. Make clear from day 1, what your expectations are. This may be “All Good and Dandy,” but we need to keep in mind at the same time that one needs to keepin mind and be aware of the student population one is working with. 

  1. Mr. Romagnolo states that ”Your expectations are what you allow them to do, not what you say.” How would you apply this distinction in your class?

Your expectations are what you allow them to do .Be sure that students will test anything you expect them to do. For that reason Expectations must be clear and understood by all before they walk into the classroom. Otherwise, students will push the boundaries of your expectations. Therefore, it’s quite important that there is zero tolerance.  This I believe, it is  important to communicate provide clear expectations and made understood before the students walk into the classroom.

  1. What could you do if a positive tone wasn’t set on the first day?

Often times, things In life don’t go quite as well as one expects, but that’s why pencils have erasers. It’s always imperative not to look back and get bogged down on a previous day calamity. Everyday provides a new set of challenges and a also a new set of opportunities. If you analyze any situation carefully, you will find out that there is always a reason and an answer to how to refresh your day as a Teacher.

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  • Private message to User 1234
  1. What is the relationship between tone and expectations? The relationship between tone and expectations is a hand in hand relationship. If you expect your students to take you seriously, you need to have a firm tone as you communicate your expectations. This does not mean a mean, belligerent tone, but one that makes it clear you mean business.
  2. Mr. Romagnolo says, "Your expectations are what you allow them to do, not what you say." How could you apply this distinction in your own class?   This statement means that you must be real with yourself in order to be realistic in your expectations with your students. As Mr. Romagnolo said, if you tell the students to walk in quietly without talking, but you let them walk in quietly talking to each other, you really are just expecting that they walk in talking quietly. In my own class, I can apply this by having students start each day as they walk into class by doing a warm up exercise I will have for them on the board. 
  3. What could you do if a positive tone wasn't set on the first day?  Realistically, the first day doesn't always go as well as it could or should. That's okay. If you don't start well with a positive tone on the first day, evaluate that evening what you could have done differently, what you could have done better and implement that on the second day. If you do something wrong, own up to it and apologize. A good leader will earn more respect by owning up to their errors.   - Michael Mueller
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  • Private message to Trixie Armstrong

Tone is overall feel for what to expect and the expectations are the specific details. This is important from Day 1. This teacher does an incredible job of telling & showing the expectations (says it, repeats it, gives example of what not to do, & gives consequence). Tell them what they need to do (and explain) from the start and then hold them to it. Expectations = what you allow them to do (if "no talking" does not mean silent from day 1...then you have allowed them to talk), thus establishing the baseline.  Say it first, then repeat it for clarification. Tell them from the start and then hold them to it. In my classroom, I want to be careful that I ensure that I communicate my expectations clearly and using visuals for younger students will help to provide those expectations without always having to use words. If a positive tone is not set on day 1, then acknowledging this with the class and signing something like a behavior contract...to help clarify from this date forth these are the established rules.

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Transcripts

  • [00:00]
    Interviewer: Setting the tone from the very first day of school is the most important thing you can do

    [00:00]
    Interviewer: Setting the tone from the very first day of school is the most important thing you can do as a teacher. The first thing that everyone needs to understand is that you are in charge of your classroom. The very best teachers—when you walk into their classroom—seems like the kids are totally in charge. They’re doing everything they wanna do all the time. That’s been set up by the teacher from the very first day of school.

    Okay. Can I have your attention, please?

    You have to set the tone before any child ever walks into your classroom.

    Welcome to the first day of Algebra I. When you walk into the room, you need to do so quietly and without talking. I’ll say that one more time. Quietly and without talking.

    When a kid walks into your classroom, they have to know what you expect, what you need them to do, and they need to be able to do it. Your expectations are what you allow them to do—not what you say, but what you allow them to do, so if you say, “Walk into the classroom quietly,” and they walk into the classroom and they’re quietly talking to each other, that’s what you expect them to do. Don’t go back later on and think, man, I wish they came in the classroom without talking at all. You didn’t expect that of them from the very first day of school.

    If I see someone talking—even a whisper, even a giggle—we’re gonna stop, we’re gonna come back out, and we’re gonna practice it and try it again.

    I’m telling them fro the start, and then I’m holding them to that. If they aren’t gonna do what I ask them to do, we’re going back out and we’re practicing, and we’re gonna do it over and over and over. I have had classes where I had to do it 15 times on the first day until they realized what my expectations were. Once they realized what they were, now I only have to do it twice or three times the next day, and then hopefully after that, we can only do it once.

    Okay. When you walk through this door, it’s time to work. All right. Let’s make it happen.

    When they walk in this classroom, it’s time to work.

    Clap once. Clap once. Clap once.

    We can goof around sometimes. We can have fun, but we’re gonna stop it whenever the teacher wants us to, and we’re gonna get back to work.

    Clap twice. Simple as that. Let’s get to work.

    But the key is get ‘em in, get ‘em in quickly, and set the expectation before the first class ever starts.

    Welcome to the first day of Algebra I.

    [End of audio]

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Nick Romagnolo
Math / 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 / Coach

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