Sometimes I ponder on certain circumstances which occur in class, and many times my thoughts wander off “what would I have done?”
It’s hard to think on your feet, to teach AND juggle behaviour – but it’s what we have to do, right? After all, if you get the behaviour in check the teaching becomes easier.
So why is it that for some people it is pretty obvious how to manage low level disruption, yet for others it’s just impossible?
In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I regularly observe some adult responses that send a student onto the trajectory to orbit in nano-seconds. Nobody wants, needs or likes this.
I call this ‘parental mode’. I believe it stems from a fixed mindset about how we expect our students to behave, and then take the view that the student has directly attacked us when things don’t go well.
And yes, we pull on our desire to explain what’s right and wrong, often sidestepping the reason for intervention, and leaving confusion in the wake.
Parents are responsible for moral guidance, and some could say that teachers have a part to play in this, too. This cannot be denied.
But when it comes to managing your classroom, there’s no room for that at the precise moment of challenging behaviour. Save the long winded explanations for later. Deal positively with the behaviour right now.
Sometimes we can fall into the trap where we take it personally. Behaviour which upsets us, or which triggers a negative emotion, often detonates a knee jerk reaction “How dare you” or some other kind of upset. Actions of others can bring forth some of our own behaviour which isn’t conducive to teaching, and it doesn’t manage the student behaviour (which isn’t conducive to learning).
It isn’t personal.
I don’t think you need to harden yourself so much that you lose care or sense of humour, but certainly you need a tough skin if you want to master the art of classroom management.
Further reading: http://can-do-courses.co.uk/high-and-low-emotional-intelligence/