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Posts Tagged ‘classroom behavior’

“I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.”

by Dr. Haim Ginott

Reflect on your classroom rules and the punishments outlined for breaking them. Sometimes their behavior is not about them being disruptive or disrespectful, but are a reaction to whatever stresses they are facing. Students, classroom behavior, and their consequences are the topic of this post’s 30 Goals Challenge.

It is true. I am a decisive element in our classroom community.  Whatever condition the student walks into the classroom in, I have an effect on that. I can provide the opportunity for a person ready to be in our community to shine and succeed. I can also take that same person and shut them down. It’s a lot of pressure sometimes.

Perhaps I’m sick, perhaps I just received word of a family emergency, perhaps something personal has just gone wrong.  If I take that into the classroom community, it effects what does or does not happen there. On the contrary, despite my best efforts, I might not be able to bring a student having a challenging moment into the community for the day.  They may be the element darkening what happens in the classroom. It’s my obligation to try and bring some light to the situation. Again, there’s a lot of pressure outside the content area itself.

Stress. We are human. We have stress. Teenagers are stressed from their obligations, family, friends and biology. Adults are stressed from their jobs, families, and responsibilities.  Personally, I believe that if our schools employeed personal masseuses, some of this might be alleviated, but that’s a different matter. It’s important that we all have ways to deal with the stress, and that includes within the classroom community.

Plan. Have your lessons planned; don’t wing it. Included the opportunity to “moments.” Whether these be teachable moments, or moments to just vent. Make allowances for that. Know your students. Your first period students are going to have different needs than those at the end of the day.  Know that there are differences between boys and girls and their needs within the classroom community. Breathe. You need to breathe. You need to allow your students to do so as well, whether that be literally or figuratively.  Allow for movement: 90 minutes with bottoms planted in an uncomfortable seat doesn’t allow for oxygen to get to the brain and for the best learning to occur.  These are just starting points, and only a few at that.  Keep them in mind and add your own.

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