As Savage (1999) states, “Consistency is an especially important aspect of developing teacher credibility. Consistency is often a misunderstood concept. Oftentimes people think it is mindless application of rules. However, it is not mindlessly applying rules when the teacher feels like doing so. Rather, it is applying established rules and procedures that are understood by all.
This application is done on a day-to-day basis, if the behavior is unacceptable one day it is always unacceptable.
Another dimension to consistency is that the consequences are applied to all students, not just some. Just as consequences need to be applied consistently, so do rewards. This creates an environment that is positive and emphasizes productive behavior. When a teacher is consistent it increased their credibility immensely.
Jones (2007) also discusses many aspects of consistency that applies well in the classroom. Jones tells of two rules that are rules to live by.
1. No means no.
2. I am not going to stand here and listen to your yammering. (Yammering being when the students sit there begging, pleading, and making excuses to try and get their way.)
As Jones (2007) also discusses, there are no degrees of consistency; you are either consistent or you are consistency. This applies every day, with every mood, in every circumstance.
Consistency is seen all throughout the concepts discussed in this site, as well as throughout teaching. In management and discipline it is important to be consistent in every aspect, from rules and procedures to how the teacher responds to discipline. In the physical environment consistency is important to keep the environment safe. In proximity and mobility the teacher needs to be consistent in their response to misbehavior, as well as their use of proximity and mobility. In regards to motivation the teacher needs to be consistently keeping the students needs in mind and making every decision consistently with the students' needs at heart. During praise, prompt, and leave the teacher needs to be consistently following the steps or they will get wrapped up with the helpless handraiser and focusing too long on one student. Finally, the teacher should consistently be providing a visual instruction plan to refer the students to, which is a vital aspect of this sites view of teaching.
This is one aspect of teaching that would give the teacher personal authority. Which, as stated in the authority section, is the desired type of authority. This can be applied in an Algebra classroom by being consistent in the mathematical requirements involved. If calculators are allowed one day they are always allowed, or vice versa. If assignments are going to be collected every day they are always collected. If students always have to show work, they always show work. Everything is done the same way everyday so that there are no questions as to what is going on.
Below is a video by Marty Clarke that, although he is addressing a business group, applies to teachers just the same, and emphasizes the importance of consistency.
"'At this, the adminstrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn't find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy" (Daniel 6:4).
Daniel was found to be faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy because he was consistent in this ways. As teachers, we should be viewed similarly by students, parents, and administrators. This can only be done if we are found to be consistent in our ways.