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7 Deadly Habits

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Glaser’s Seven Deadly Habits

Choice Theory (also known as Reality Theory), developed by William Glasser, (2013) involves a central idea that individuals are responsible for their own choices. Inherent in this idea is the concept that one cannot control the actions or feelings of another. With this in mind, it is imperative to create a classroom in which students feel respected, safe and happy. This involves creating and understanding relationships with students and an effort to pay attention to the relationships students develop with each other in the classroom. (Not to mention the relationships teacher form with peer groups, administrators and stake holders in their educational communities).

Glasser refers to the following behaviors as the “seven deadly habits” of teachers. These are behaviors which prevent the establishment of caring and safe learning environments by creating disharmony and discord in the classroom and prevent the establishment of healthy relationships.
• Criticizing
• Blaming
• Complaining
• Nagging
• Threatening
• Punishing
• Rewarding others in an attempt to control behavior

Glasser suggests teachers should establish the habit of replacing these negative behaviors with seven “connecting habits” which he identifies as:
• Caring
• Listening
• Supporting
• Respecting
• Encouraging
• Trusting
• Negotiating differences

I know that it is important to maintain a respectful, safe and happy environment for my students in the band room every day. After all, they are attempting to do something that is sometimes unpleasant to listen to until they attain a given degree of mastery of their instrument and of their place in the ensemble. I often ask older students to tutor younger ones, and have established a conversation regarding what I refer to as the legacy responsibility. In order to attain excellence in musical performance and to maintain this degree of excellence year after year, students must be taught to understand and to promote, support and expect positive, accepting and loving relationships with each other and with me as their teacher. I often ask my students to respect the podium itself, which also requires them to respect whomever is standing on it. This may be a student leader, guest clinician, staff person or their own director. We promote honesty, respect differences in opinion and exhibit trust in each other’s ability to understand and respond to musical problems through creative and artistic problem solving.

Reference
Glasser, W. (2013) Take charge of your life: how to get what you need with choice-theory psychology. Bloomington, IN: Harper

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