Great Expectations

The Great Expectations® (GE) teaching/training model is guided by six basic principles and 17 classroom practices that allow students to become self-directed learners, productive citizens, critical thinkers, and contributors in the classroom as well as in society.

The Great Expectations Program is a scientifically-based research educational reform model that combines the best practices of instruction and character development by merging a culture of respect with academic excellence. The program helps children develop the social skills and character traits that nurture their hearts while the classroom practices used by teachers build their brains.

The basic principles of the program are: high expectations for students, a learning climate based on mutual respect between student and teacher, student self-esteem, a belief that all students can learn, positive teacher attitude, and highly skilled and knowledgeable teachers who inspire and enable students to achieve success.

Great Expectations recognizes schools that commit to implementation of the GE practices and tenets. This year Heritage is again striving to become a Great Expectations Model School, one in which 90 % of the staff is implementing 100% of the classroom practices daily.

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8 Expectations for Living

Educators helping students achieve excellence guide them in adhering to the following expectations:

  • We will value one another as unique and special individuals.

  • We will not laugh at or make fun of a person’s mistakes nor use sarcasm or putdowns.

  • We will use good manners, saying “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” and allow others to go first.

  • We will cheer each other to success.

  • We will help one another whenever possible.

  • We will recognize every effort and applaud it.

  • We will encourage each other to do our best.

  • We will practice virtuous living, using the Life Principles.

17 Classroom Practices

The classroom practices are as follows:

  1. Educators and learners model desired behaviors and attitudes such as those set forth in the Life Principles and the Eight Expectations for Living.

  1. Educators and learners speak in complete sentences and address one another by name, demonstrating mutual respect and common courtesy.

  1. Learners are taught thoroughly and to mastery, ensuring success for all. Whole group instruction is interwoven with flexible group instruction and individual instruction.

  1. Learning experiences are integrated, related to the real world, reviewed consistently, and connected to subsequent curricula.

  1. Critical thinking skills are taught.

  1. The environment is non-threatening and conducive to risk-taking. Mistakes are viewed as opportunities to learn and grow.

  1. Memory work, recitations, and/or writing occur daily. These enhance character development and effective communication skills while extending curricula.

  1. Enriched vocabulary is evident and is drawn directly from challenging writings, informational text, and/or wisdom literature.

  1. The Magic Triad, a positive and caring environment, and discipline with dignity and logic are evident.

  1. Learners’ work is displayed in some form. Positive and timely feedback is provided through oral and/or written commentary.

  1. Word identification skills are used as a foundation for expanding the use of the English language.

  1. Learners assume responsibility for their own behavior. Their choices determine consequences.

  1. A school, class, or personal creed is recited or reflected upon daily to reaffirm commitment to excellence.

  1. All learners experience success. The educator guarantees it by comparing learners to their own past performance, not the performance of others. Learners are showcased, and past failures are disregarded.

  1. 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.

  1. Educators and learners employ effective interpersonal communications skills.

  1. Educators and learners celebrate the successes of others.

Responsibility - Being accountable for your actions

“I am responsible for me. I can take care of what I need to.” – Vince Gill

Self-Discipline - The ability to choose and control one's own actions

“If you take shortcuts, you get cut short.” – Gary Busey