If the students know they get to you,
they're going to keep on trying.
You're selling your reactions,
and every student is buying!
I believe that the biggest mistake any teacher will ever make is one that most teachers make on a daily basis. Here it is: We let students know when they get to us. It’s not our feelings that determine who we are to others, but rather our actions. And one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish as a teacher is the ability to control your actions and maintain your composure at all costs. Yes, students will try you. They will work on your nerves. They will go for your jugular—not because they’re bad, but because they’re children. And to be able to control an adult’s emotions is a very powerful feeling for a child.
An important word of advice: Don’t play the game. You will feel frustrated at times. That’s normal. But to roll your eyes, clench your teeth when you speak, fold your arms and tap your foot as you stare at the ceiling, sigh, raise your voice, or exhibit any of the many signs of a loss of composure will only serve to let students know that you did play, you did lose, and you gave your control over to them.
You can be serious without looking angry. You can discipline a child in a thoughtful, professional manner. You see, there is never an appropriate time to lose your cool. You are a professional, and you must act as a professional at all times. Therefore, you must never let them see you sweat. When students realize that you will not play the game and that you are truly a professional, they will stop trying to see how red they can make your face get, and how far that vein in your neck will stick out. You will, in turn, earn their respect, but most importantly, you will serve as the role model that so many of them so desperately need.
Never dig yourself a hole by losing hold of self-control!
Copyright © 2013 Education World