The Licking Conundrum


Is it ever OK to lick someone?

The question came up at a recent meeting in regard to a kindergarten student.

You see the student in question thinks that it is OK to walk up to someone and lick a face or an arm or a shoulder.

After a collective chuckle from the group of teachers and administrators attending the meeting, meaningful discussion ensued about how to help support the child in meeting expectations.

And the key point that emerged is that modeled expectations are very different from the assumed expectations that exist in many of our classrooms.

For many educators and students, expectations are a list of Do’s and Don’ts that exist on a poster in a classroom. No one ever writes NO LICKING on the poster because it is an assumed expectation. Everyone in polite society expects that licking someone is not acceptable. Except, that a student might not understand this.

The student might argue that the “classroom rules” omit “NO LICKING.”

This is the problem with assumed expectations. Some students may not understand the assumptions. So, as educators, we need to correct and model the behaviors that are expected. We need to turn the assumed expectations into modeled expectations.

Don’t let the poster of classroom rules limit expectations in your classroom. Work to help students understand the assumptions and model for students how to best meet expectations.

And make sure that everyone understands that it is never OK to lick someone!


Rich (@RACzyz)

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