William Glasser’s 5 drivers:
• A safe secure place where they belong
• To be loved and valued
• To have power
• To have freedom
• To have fun and learn
Walking into a year 9 classroom is daunting prospect; these students are at an age where it’s all about their peers. Their social interaction is the most important thing to them and they are the stage of development where a lot of misbehaviour surface. This has started maybe midway through year 7 or in year 8 and starts to settle down again in year 10 (if your lucky).
So knowing all this from your own experience or here say you must be very clear when you prepare for year 9 that you come into each lesson with a “Focus on the present and avoid discussing/thinking of the past” (Reality therapy [From WikEd] Glasser choice theory underpins reality therapy which is a method of counseling) by doing this you will be able to allow the students to develop and move beyond their misbehaviours.
Walking into the room as leader teacher not boss teacher you can address each of the five drivers in many ways here are some ways that each driver can be met.
A safe secure place where they belong.
Classrooms need to be laid out in ways that encourage constructivist learning, desks set up in blocks which promote group work and social interaction.
Encourage students to have a place in the room that is there own, this could be a desk, and maybe a locker as well, this quite often happens anyway, it seems very natural thing that humans do, students and adults a like. Knowing they have a place that is theirs helps students feel safer. As well as physical place the teacher needs to ensure it is an emotionally safe space eliminating bullying and encouraging respect between peers and students and teachers.
To be loved and valued.
The teachers must know their students by knowing them they can quickly understand the purpose of the students behaviours and misbehaviour and help the student in what ever way is necessary and help them replace misbehaviours.
Being valued is very important at this age, it is in a stage of development when adolescents can feel unheard and that no one cares or understands what they are going through. Teach them that they are valued through listening and acknowledging their ideas and thoughts. When considering what the activities you will be doing with them give students choices within that activity this gives the students a sense that their decisions are of value as well as giving them personal power within the lesson.
To have power and to have freedom.
Giving them choices gives them power and freedom; it allows them to feel that they have control over their learning, thereby giving them ownership and helps in their development as individual empowered humans.
By setting up boundaries and guidelines for your classroom rather than ruling with a strict Skinner approach you give them more power, freedom and trust therefore love.
Most important is fun, every lesson and every subject can be fun, as teachers we must strive to incorporate fun in how we teacher even the driest of subjects.