Give me Five!

Posted by Brenda Yoho

Give five of what? Five can mean a lot of things depending on your frame of mind or what you are doing.

  • Can you give me five minutes to think? You guys have been yelling and screaming all afternoon.
  • Can I have five orders of chicken nuggets?
  • Mom, can I have five dollars for lunch today?
  • Dad, we need five players for this game, and we only have four; want to play?

In my case, giving me five represents the first action in getting a small, medium, or large group quiet to speak. It is not something I created on my own, but I did not know it 30 years ago. I just raised my hand with five fingers. “Give me five.” The children responded. I did not teach it as a classroom management technique; I was a Teaching Assistant trying to figure out how to handle a multi-aged large group of kids waiting for school to start.

In my early days as a Teaching Assistant, I counted down to three to get everyone quiet. My license plate is Yoho123. People always think it is because we only had three in our family. I guess that is a great answer. It was only my husband, daughter, and I. The kids and staff knew me as 1,2,3. Everyone knew when I got to three, it was time to be silent.

It worked for me in getting a large group (entire school) quiet before beginning to dismiss them to go to their classrooms. Each day I became more knowledgeable about what works for children, how to build relationships, and what was essential to teach. Over my time, everything improved. I had a large voice, so loudly counting was no issue for me, but I did not think everything improved. I could get kids to follow my commands, but want was I teaching them in the process?

Fast forward to my Two Rules and discovering the formula in helping children learn how to build skills as they grow into young adults. My success in implementing Two Rules helped children learn to self-regulate, build leadership, understand goals and take ownership in their learning. Discipline became a time of reflecting on their actions, understanding emotions, choices, ownership, and how to move forward. Learning became a time of discovery of personal goals and mastery of foundational skills to build a solid learning pathway.

Two Rules

Establishing a clear message with consistency is the first step as you begin to build a trusting relationship with those you serve and lead.

The message: Everyone who walks through the doors of our school will feel good about being here and will feel safe. How can that happen? We can choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution by the choices we make. Before we say something, do something or take any action, we must ask ourselves the Two Rules. Will this make me or others feel good? Will this make me or others feel safe? If the answer is no to either rule, it is a problem, not a solution.

In helping everyone understand the power, each one has in the ability of choice throughout each day.

The choice: Each one of us has a great deal of power. It is essential for us to each learn how to use our power wisely for ourselves and to help create the best environment for all of us to grow more powerful. You may not realize today the powers you have, but it will not take long for us to work together to identify all of them. The first power we have is choice. You can choose to give your power away by allowing others to take it from you by quickly reacting or you can have self-control to find a better response with a lasting solution. We will learn many things together on how your choices make great things happen or can cause problems.

Maintaining a focus is essential as we establish goals to build a solid foundation of the Two Rules philosophy.

The focus and goals: Common daily language establishes a consistent rhythm of a solid message to our focus. The goals are individually developed in students learning plans as each demonstrates ownership in their learning pathway. Detailed steps, processes, and procedures are clarified in the student learning pathway section.

Take a few

Take a few minutes to think of questions you have at this point. What are they? Before a deeper dive into the practices, what about the concept? What do you see, hear, understand?

How about One

Please give me one question, one thought, or one concern. The goal is for the information shared to help improve teaching, learning, culture, and individual student success over time.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2023 Brenda Yoho
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