Practice Fifteen – Introduction

Practice #15

Educators teach on their feet, thus utilizing proximity. They engage learners personally, hold high expectations of learners, and should not limit learners to grade level or perceived ability.

Contents include

Printable materials, Ready-to-use Strategies, and Web links in the following sections:

Implementation Basics
Ideas for Implementation
Implementation Evaluation and Goal Setting
Life Principle
Hand Signs
Practice Connections
Practice Characteristics
Evidence of Practice
Music & Video Links
Learning Strategies
Mind Map

Goal Setting Process with Individual and Class Forms and Examples

Introduction to Practice #15

Educators teach on their feet, thus utilizing proximity. They engage learners personally, hold high expectations of learners, and should not limit learners to grade level or perceived ability

The WHY? of Practice #15!

Implementation supports:

  • the focus always being on the learners.
  • educators maintaining constant contact with learners in an effort to expediently meet individual needs and to provide necessary direction and support.
  • educators on their feet, engaging learners personally and holding high expectations for them
  • diminishing the likelihood of discipline problems.
  • individuals being engaged, validated, and challenged throughout the learning process to produce their best work and to reduce unnecessary mistakes.
  • learners becoming a part of the instructional element and working together to produce quality projects/work.


  • Teachers who teach on their feet move near students and can more easily make personal contact with each pupil. Teacher/student proximity is an effective classroom management strategy for keeping students on task, making smooth transitions from one activity to another, and decreasing unwanted behavioral problems related directly to time spent off task. Taylor, S. (2010). “Teaching Bell to Bell and Student/Teacher Proximity.”
  • Skilled teachers intensify learning by providing authentic instruction and meaningful assignments while holding high expectations for all students. Such assignments deal with the significant concepts of a discipline, incorporate higher-order thinking skills, are connected to the "real world," and allow “High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.” -- Charles F. Kettering (1876-1958), American engineer, inventor of the electric starter 33 substantial times for discussion and idea sharing among students. Peterson, K. (1995). “Creating High-Achieving Learning Environments,” Pathways to School Improvement
  • Having a clearly defined set of standards helps teachers concentrate on instruction, makes clear to students and parents grade-level expectations, and ensures that students are prepared for the next grade. Most states currently have standards in place for students in grades K-12. Studies of high achieving schools with disadvantaged student populations revealed that integrating learning standards with demanding coursework and high expectations led to a marked improvement in student performance. U.S. Department of Education. (1999, May). “Taking Responsibility for Ending Social Promotion: A Guide for Educators and State and Local Officials.”

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow

by evading it today.”

- Abraham Lincoln

For Research: see Rationale for 17 Practices - Practice 15 – pages 32-33

on the Great Expectations website.


The WHERE? EVERYWHERE learners are engaged in the instructional process.

The WHEN? - Daily use of the elements of Practice #15 will:

  • Improve educator-learner relationships.
  • Promote a sense of support and validation among learners.
  • Decrease off-task and disruptive activities.
  • Increase motivation through high expectations and the belief that all learners are capable of success.

(Printable Poster) Main objection: "This takes too much time!" Response: What are the goals for all learners? Goals:

  • To create a threat-free environment that encourages individuals to take risks in learning and to become confident, positive learners.
  • To personalize learning by addressing the uniqueness and multiple styles of all learners and to provide opportunities for choice and input into their individual learning plan.
  • To use high expectations to challenge, motivate, and encourage all learners
  • To increase learner’s perception of his/her abilities through support, goal setting, and academic success.
  • To model habits that result in positive outcomes.


  • Creating a culture of respect and belief that all learners are capable, responsible, and productive.
  • Providing an environment conducive to risk-taking and academic success.
  • Allowing learners to assume responsibility for their own behaviors and providing them with choices, as well as guidelines for making those choices, is motivational and can build a sense of capability in learners.

Application to Employment Skills:

  • Orderly schools usually balance clearly established and communicated expectations with a climate of concern for students as individuals. Duke, D. L. "School Organization, Leadership, and Student Behavior." Strategies to Reduce Student Misbehavior. Available online: http.//
  • Article "Meet Microsoft Teams" - addresses elements of teamwork including collaboration and engaging the voice of every student.

Developing Employability Skills - School Improvement Research