In a PYP school, each working group (teachers or students) begins to create an „essential agreement.“ In the classroom, this means that it is not a teacher who imposes rules, but that everyone works together to find an agreement on how the class will work. These accents illustrate an approach to developing essential chords in a PYP classroom. Today, Jocelyn and I developed our class agreement. We started asking the children to think carefully and then write down what helps them learn and what hinders their learning. Later, we brought back a list of all the things they had written, and as a group, the students highlighted those they considered to be an essential class agreement that would maximize learning for all. This will be compiled, another time, to make sure everyone agrees and then we will have our class meal agreement! I really like that the focus is not on the rules, but on an essential agreement that reflects collective values and behaviours about how the class wants to have its learning environment. Back at school, preparations for some are at full throttle and stop for others, because summer is about to be chosen! I tend to fall into the latter category myself… despite good intentions each year. You know, last-minute stuff, moments before the kids go to class? But that`s how I play after 23 years of this gig! However, for the many, many teachers who will be new to the PYP this year, I wanted to publish a list of essentials for each PYP classroom, which would give a lot of time to those of you who, like me, tend to delay the whole summer to prepare.
As far as I`m concerned, since I teach in an IB school, I prefer to start my class by creating an „essential agreement“ to make sure my class is working well and well. Instead of teachers imposing their rules on their children, all members of the group work together to reach an agreement on how the classroom works. Here are some tips on how to create an essential chord in the classroom. What I noticed is that despite the title, many class agreements are still lists of rules. Essential agreements are essentially a list of important balance agreements in our classroom. They essentially consist of good attitudes, reinforce the profiles of learners and are simply essential for the environment to function properly and be respectful. They are expected to stay on top all year round.