Student learning in the classroom – We all have, at some point in our lives, experienced firsthand the strong impact which the expectations of our teachers and parents can and do have on us. A teacher’s expectations in particular can make or break a student’s self-belief, motivation and deeply impact their perception of self. Various researches in psychology and pedagogy have shown that when educators expect more from their students, more often than not, the students tend to up their game in trying to live up to the expectations put on them. Elevating your expectations is also a great way of encouraging the low-performing students in the classroom to improve themselves.

In this day and age, even as our teaching and learning methodologies continue to evolve at a rapid pace, it is critical for educators to not lose track of the basic guiding principles which are helpful in enriching the classroom environment. Nowadays, innovative ideas abound in just about every sphere of pedagogy. From schools readily integrating digital teaching and management tools such as smart classes, ERP and likewise, to online teaching portals being widely adopted as the preferred teaching and learning medium by educational institutions, educators and students across the globe, we are well into the digital age of education as it is. Many teaching tools such as video conferencing API, which helps educators to create and share video tutorials with their students, digital whiteboards and features such as online teaching through mobile which some e-learning portals provide have made the job of online teaching a cakewalk. However, the best teaching tools are even more effective when used by a skillful teacher and managing their expectations in the class is an important skill which every educator must possess. We have already addressed the benefits of setting high expectations in your class as an educator and the critical role it plays in empowering student learning. Here are the most effective ways to achieve high expectations in the classroom….

Growth Mindset

The benefits of inculcating a growth mindset in your students are multifold. For one, it helps them in believing that more than anything else, their performance is a direct result of their focused hard work. This motivates them to work hard towards their academic goals. Moreover, a growth mindset helps the students in managing the expectations of their educators and parents as they don’t feel like they are stuck and believe that they are capable of meeting the expectations put on them through sincere efforts and guidance. Therefore, educators must reinforce to their students that they are as capable as anyone, of making tremendous academic progress and achieving success.

Increase the Difficulty

If your students don’t have to exert themselves much in the class, they will probably feel that little effort is needed. This may not bode well for them in managing high expectations as they will be habituated to easy and low-effort tasks. Instead, educators should make sure that the students come to class knowing and expecting that they will have to face challenging tasks which will force them to stretch their minds a little. However, educators must make sure that the tasks given to the students are achievable as handing out too difficult a task may have unfavorable effects and might be detrimental for the student morale.

Show Positive Regard but don’t Heap Praises

Hard as it may be at times, it is important nonetheless, to express that we as educators, see value in our students, that we see them as capable of achieving academic success. However, heaping praises on students even when they haven’t done anything particularly praiseworthy, is not a great teaching strategy. This conveys that your expectations of your students are low and that they don’t need to work hard in the class. The last thing you want as an educator is to not use the tremendous potential of student progress that comes with having high expectations in your class and giving away easy praise to students subconsciously relays the message that the bar is set too low.

The importance of effective management of expectations in your class can’t be overstated. As educators, we must always have high expectations of our students which will naturally lead them to put their efforts in the right direction. To that end, the ideas discussed in this article might come in handy. Happy Teaching!

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