Fair Isn’t Equal: Seven Classroom Tips
In last month's post, I mentioned that there are two skills that separate great teachers from good ones. I explained that the first skill is the ability to reframe student behavior, to see it in new ways. Today I want to discuss the second skill: knowing how to treat students fairly by not treating them the same. Allen Mendler and I introduced the idea that fair isn't equal to the education community in 1988 in the first edition of Discipline With Dignity (an updated, more comprehensive explanation with examples is provided in the current edition). If you ask students what are the most important qualities they like in teachers, one of the universally top-mentioned is fairness. But what is fair? The most glaring example of the misunderstanding between fair and equal is in progressive consequence organization. Does treating students fairly take more time? Here’s how to put this concept into practice. 1. 2. 3. "Johnny, please stop interrupting. As opposed to: "Bessie, you little weasel. 4.