Back to School Tip

It is the first week of school, and all the teachers are going through the school rules with their students.  You see them in the hallway, in the library, and in the cafeteria.  They are all standing at attention (even the kindergartners) listening attentively and being quiet.  BUT then there is your class.  Your class used to be my class.  The class with the kids that NEVER stand still or are quiet.  The class that takes more adults than kids to get from one place to another on the school property.  Yep, it is the special ed class.

I always hated those first few days of learning the school rules.  I knew I could not try to teach proper hallway behavior while staying in the classroom, it just would not generalize to the real situation.  I also knew that once we were out in the hallway, my kids would be so distracted and/or anxious that there was no way they could listen to me about proper hallway etiquette.  Then I found out about structured walks!

The  main issue with my students was they did not know what they were supposed to be doing in the hallway, and they had no idea how long it would be before they could get back to the safety of the classroom.  A perfect recipe for disruptive behaviors and anxious kids.  I started doing structured walks my second year.  It basically is set up like a scavenger hunt.  I would have someone place some pictures around the school in obvious locations, and the kids would have a blank template to show them how many pictures we were looking for.  We did talk about hallway behavior, but I found once they had a clear goal of what they needed to accomplish, and how long it would take (ie fill the 10 blank spots) most of the problem behaviors disappeared or lessened greatly.

I have included this link so you can download complete directions and a set of symbols to use on your own structured walk.  Try it, you might be surprised how a little structure can go a long way in eliminating problems and anxiety.


3 replies
  1. Betsy
    Betsy says:

    Sounds really helpful! I like the idea of a school scavenger hunt for many different ages and classes. Thanks for linking up with me at Spark Creativity!

  2. Deann Marin
    Deann Marin says:

    Great ideas here. I so agree with you about the first day of school. So difficult, so many rules, with my classes, it’s opening lockers. I taught 6th graders and this was one of the most difficult things for some of them.


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