I had the good fortune to have a comment from EFL Geek on my photo of barley. Followed the link to that blog and was pleasantly surprised as the most recent blog was about one of my favorite topics, motivation. It was actually about another blogger, Karen Garcia, who was writing about motivation.
I was initially struck by the idea of class norms. Ms. Garcia defines norms as “unstated/unspoken rules in a group.” I immediately started trying to catalog the norms in just one of my classes. The list would be huge, but here are some that I can think of.
1. The students,
a. when entering the classroom should find a seat to sit in.
b. should be there before the chime rings. (Yes, there are chimes in Japanese universities. That’s another norm.)
c. should have thier text book.
d. should feel free to talk until the teacher calls the class to order.
e. should not sleep during class
f. should not eat or drink
g. should not yawn
h. should not wear hats
2. The teacher should,
a. be on time, but not too on time. (a little later is better up to about 10 minutes, even though some teachers are much later than that.)
b. wear appropriate attire
c. do most or all of the talking
d. know everything about the language
e. be there to tell everyone what is right and wrong
f. not eat or drink during class
g. not sit on the desks at any time
h. use Japanese/not use Japanese (varies from class to class)
i. maintain a large social distance from the students
These are just a few of the probably infinite number of norms in my classrooms. This sounds like an interesting area of research to me.