Thursday, July 18, 2013

classroom management series #1

I used to be a yeller – then – I worked with one – Here is my story of how I changed…

This was a hard transition for me. It might be for some of you too…. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and find ONE child who is doing the right thing…. Then another… When I started teaching – it was 4th grade… the kids were bigger than me, and meaner than me… I felt like I had to yell to get them to pay attention and respect me. I figured out that they just tuned me out, and didn’t respect me… One day I was walking around the room…. And I leaned down to whisper in a child’s ear. The class FROZE. I mean – you could hear a pin drop – I was amazed! Of course they assumed that I was telling this student that they were in trouble – BUT I WASN’T!
After I had talked with the student, I explained to the others, that I was merely thanking her for working so hard and so quietly.
They were amazed – I was amazed –
at the impact that little compliment/whisper had on my kids, my classroom, and my sanity.  SO – I used this – and I used it like crazy.

Reward the kids for the behavior you want and you will see more of it… even if you have to praise someone for staying in their own space for one minute! It works…. I will tell you that I still have my share of behavior issues – so this is not a magic classroom trick – but it does help!
Children are naturally pleasers AND they want attention – so give them attention for what you want to see and the outcome will be amazing. I can’t stand hearing teachers yell or belittle children.
I have worked with teachers that yell… ALL. DAY. LONG.
I used to yell. I ended up yelling all day, being miserable, and having simple things that were an issue – all year.
 It makes my heart hurt now to hear children being yelled at – for simple, fixable things.

Pretend you are a child – walking to line for lunch – what would you rather hear?
1.     Teacher yelling, “Get in a straight line, close your mouth.”…
2.     Teacher telling those that are quiet – ‘Thank you for lining up quietly. That makes me happy!” “I love how nice and straight Jimmy, Grace, and Ben are…. They are right behind one another!”

Guarantee – Number 2 – will get a lot more attention and results. PROMISE.
Not only are you praising the children, but you are also telling them what you expect and how they are meeting those expectations.

This will by my 12th year teaching – there are times where I catch myself ‘going back’ to yelling…. (especially when I am having a bad day).  Then I often think about how I would want someone to talk to me, or to my children… and that usually straightens me out.

Here is a link to another article that talks about whispering and not yelling :) 
 Here is a link to a poster that I have hanging in my room -
I love this poster not just for the kids, but me also.