Back to Basics

Basic Training or Boot Camp is an intense time for new army recruits to learn the basic procedures and behaviours required to be good soldiers. Your child may have come home these past couple of days with a similar comment like, “school feels like Boot Camp.” While the first few weeks of school are tenderly coined “Boot Camp” by teachers as they teach routines and appropriate behaviours at the start of the new school year, the past few days may also seem like “Boot Camp” to your child as teachers reflect back to re-establish routines and behaviours that were taught at the beginning of the school year. As educators, we desire that our students know and display the appropriate behaviours to be good students and respectful citizens of God’s kingdom.

It was the consensus of our teaching staff that the expectation of respect for others was not evident in our students’ behaviours within the school and on the playground, thus a focus back on re-establishing this expectation can be witnessed throughout the school.

The expectation of demonstrating respect to others is a command from God. 1 Peter 2:17 tells us to show proper respect to everyone; Luke 6:31 says we are to do to others what we would have them do to us; Romans 13:7 states we are to give everyone what is owed to them, including respect and honour, and finally; Philippians 2:3 explains that we are to do nothing out of selfish ambition, rather to consider others better than oneself. These verses clearly implore us to conduct ourselves in ways that put others first. We do this by showing respect in word, deed and comportment.

What does respect look like at MCS? Respect must be shown to the other learners and people in the school. Showing proper respect means being quiet and courteous so others can learn and work. Precisely, the expectations during specific times are described below:

Whole Class

Sitting in one spot on bottom

Participating in activity

Looking at speaker

Following protocol for asking questions i.e.: raise hand

Empty hands except for what is needed for learning

Sitting on floor if class is on floor

Immediate silence when signal given

No call-outs

No side conversations

No eye conversations

 

Independent

Sustained focus on quality work

Whispered voices if asking for help

Stay in designated area

Follow time set for “give it a try”

Grit, Grapple, Persevere

Follow protocols for what to do when finished

Follow protocols for getting materials during work time

 

Small Group Work

Participating in activity

Looking at speaker

Follow protocol for listening and asking questions

Empty hands except for what is needed for learning

Sitting on floor if class is on floor

Immediate silence when signal given

No call-outs

No side conversations

           No eye conversations

Teachers and students use 12-inch voices

 

Large Group Work

All engaged/involved on task/on topic

Follow assigned roles

Individual accountability

Stay in designated area

Keep working

Interdependent

One voice at a time

Respectful conversations

 

Transitions in Classroom

Timely/efficient i.e.: on spot by end of signal

No detours

No clumping

Materials ready

Stay in personal space

 

Transitions Out of Classroom

Quiet talking during morning arrival and dismissal periods

Silence during all other movements in halls

Walking

Single file/stay on the right

One step at a time on the stairs

Push quietly on doors

Hold door for the person behind you

Hands to yourself

 

Assembly

Sit in your spot

Sing and participate in activities

No bathroom usage

No side conversations

Can talk quietly using 12-inch voices until opening

Immediate silence when signal given

 

Bathroom

Yes, before class begins, during recess, lunch and assigned times

Yes during independent work

Never during direct instruction

Not during Assembly, musical rehearsal, and special presentations etc.

 

Lunch

Stay in your spot

Converse with others near you

No trading food

Appropriately compost and recycle when possible

Take uneaten food home

We respectfully ask our school families support these expectations for the benefit of all learners. We look to our Lord for strength as we strive toward our calling to be respectful citizens within God’s world.

Written by the Principal/COO of Muskoka Christian School, Mrs. Lauralynn Mercer

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