Recently I asked a group of educators to list the top three traits that they felt an educator must have. The overwhelming number one trait they said was to be consistent.
Consistency simply means that a person behaves the same way on repeated occasions when the circumstances are the same or similar.
Basically, for educators it means that we enforce the policies and procedures of the school the same way, every day and for every student.
I know we all have challenges with students not wanting to follow the rules. They want to do their own thing. And while I agree that there are a few who don’t like rules, I think most of our students aren’t so much opposed to the rules, but rather it is the inconsistency in enforcing the rules that they struggle with.
Several years ago, we surveyed students and one of their number one concerns was the unfair enforcement of the policies and procedures of the school. Students want things to be fair.
If the student knows what to expect they can perform to those expectations. But when we ask something of them one day and the next day what we expect is completely different, that is where the problems occur. When we lack consistency in the enforcement of the policies of the school, it sends a conflicting message of what is expected of students.
To be a consistent educator, we must fairly apply the rules and standards of the school to every student, every day regardless of how we feel each day and regardless of student behavior.
I’ve seen educators who will enforce something today, but completely ignore it tomorrow. And the truth is, I’ve been guilty of the same thing. One day I let some students get away without being in dress code and then the next day I would enforce it. It becomes confusing for students. No matter your motivation for letting them get away with something, all it is doing is creating future problems. Be consistent in everything you do, day in and day out! Trust me, it will make your daily dealings with the students much easier to handle.