Classroom visitors

Being able to demonstrate appropriate behaviour when outside visitors are in the classroom creates opportunities for students to experience positive interactions with others.

Choose the statement below that best describes how this student participates with classroom visitors.
This will help you identify a starting point for selecting strategies (e.g., 1=specialized, 2=targeted, 3=universal).

  • 1. Classroom visitors tend to trigger disruptive or inappropriate behaviour that requires one-to-one supervision to ensure student safety and/or to facilitate appropriate behaviour and social interaction with classroom visitors
  • 2. Requires frequent (e.g., more than three per visit) reminders to demonstrate appropriate behaviour when visitors are in the classroom
  • 3. May require occasional (e.g., less than two per visit) reminders but generally demonstrates positive behaviour when visitors are in the classroom

Universal Supports benefit all students

  • Prior to having visitors in the classroom, communicate clear expectations about behaviour and participation when classroom visitors are present.
  • When possible, prepare students for specific classroom visitors by explaining their role (e.g., "These university students are learning to be teachers and are visiting us to see what kind of things help Grade 3 students learn and be successful."). Also, discuss what type of interactions the class might expect (e.g., "These visitors will be observing how students work and will be writing down what they see so we will just continue with our everyday routines." or "These visitors may be walking around the classroom and they may be asking you to show them your work. Please answer their questions and tell them about the things we do in writer's workshop.").
  • Have the students design name tags for themselves or their desks so visitors can call them by name.
  • Formally introduce classroom visitors to the class and explain their role.
  • Prepare students for class speakers by having the class brainstorm a list of potential questions that can be recorded on chart paper and posted for the students and guest speakers to refer to.
  • Use descriptive feedback to acknowledge positive behaviour of individual students, groups of students and/or the class as a whole.

Targeted Supports benefit students with more specific needs

  • Pair individual students with positive peers who can serve as role models and offer support when visitors are in the classroom.
  • Provide proximity by positioning yourself nearby individual students who may require support when visitors are in the classroom.
  • For students who require more structure and reassurance, develop and review social stories about having visitors in the classroom.
  • Work with individual students to develop low-key cues or signals (e.g., touching your forehead to cue "Think about the rules" or pointing to posted sign "Quiet voices") you can use to remind them about behaviour expectations related to having visitors in the classroom.

Specialized Supports benefit the small number of students with sensory, physical, cognitive or behavioural needs that require intensive, individualized interventions

  • In exceptional situations, it may be necessary to provide 1:1 adult support to facilitate social interaction and communication between an individual student and classroom visitors.