NEWS

Be sure to clarify what each contribution means. For example, « being respectful » can mean different things in different contexts. Also check active consent: are these the guidelines that people want to set for the group? Is anyone worried about her? Revise these guidelines until class members are satisfied and feel ready to commit to the collective agreement. Sometimes participants do not respect the Community agreements they establish for themselves and for others. If this happens, the agreement, which everyone has actively accepted, makes it easier to address a certain behavior. As a tutor or teacher, you can point out disrespect and collectively ask the class how they want to handle it. Or you can refer to the agreement and ask the person to change their behavior so that it complies with the agreements. Both are useful, and what you do depends on how much time you have and the extent of the problem. The more you can democratize execution, the more buy-ins you are likely to have, so consider it an exercise in strengthening shared responsibility and not the exercise of your authority. You can also use group agreements for group project jobs.

Give each group time to develop their own agreements on how they will work together. This can help relieve stress from ambiguous expectations of group work, help students defend themselves, and resolve conflicts together. In one of your first joint lessons, invite students to think about what they need to make the classroom environment safer, fairer, and more productive for learning: what would best help us work together? You can do this through custom writing requests, think pair sharing, or another active learning strategy. After giving students time to reflect and discuss in small groups, create a list of agreements together…