Apparent Acquiescence

TECHNIQUE # 52:  Make Compliance Visible

norman_rockwell_school_teacher_classroomExpecting students to comply with requests, immediately and in a visible way upholds the teachers standards of behavioral expectations.  Instead of narrating to students, “Ok, in 3 seconds we’re going to stop writing and discuss what you’ve written”; delineate the physical tasks you expect them to demonstrate; “In 4, 3, 2, 1, everyone, pencils down, eyes on me”.  Give clear, strong physical direction to students, use Radar and Be Seen Looking, ascertain that you have 100% compliance, (that’s right, TLAC® demands nothing less than 100%!).   Now, give instruction for the next task to 100% of the students.  Here’s a great short clip that demonstrates the potential effectiveness of Make Compliance Visible:


The “Visible Reset“, demonstrated in this video, brings student attention, intentionally and fully back to the teacher.  It’s recommended to do this, on average, three times during a lesson.  Here are the basic guidelines:wholebodylisteningtpt

  • Give an observable direction
  • Use Radar #51
  • Stand in Perch (corner of the classroom while scanning)/Be Seen Looking #51
  • Narrate/Praise the follow through of at least two students who’ve done, right away and successfully, what the teacher has asked.  Fix or improve at least one student if compliance is even slightly questionable.  This sets expectations higher, engendering more masterful behavioral management. 

Assigning commendations to students who comply right away is genius teacher advice.  Everyone wants praise; ideally, everyone wants to be a part of the group.   Increasing the amount and type of accountability implicitly makes the ones who would test the boundaries of compliance or the non-conformers more likely to comply.  Make Compliance Visible helps increases the normalcy of following explicit directions in the classroom.  The more visible and specific  you can make the act of compliance the better; cartoon kids in classhere are examples from the text, (p.394)¹.:

  • “Pencils in the tray”, instead of, “Pencils down”
  • “Books open in front of you”, instead of, “Books out”
  • “I want to see pencils moving”, instead of, “You should be writing”

I like the permission to not be hesitant in keep behavioral standards high. “If you don’t enforce marginal compliance, you risk undercutting the veracity of your expectations more broadly.”¹.  Here’s one final video; interesting to watch, in that it features two Uncommon Schools teachers are practicing potential Make Compliance Visible situations…




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