Thursday, February 23, 2012

Picking your battles....

Ever heard that expression? Yep! Use it all the time - as a wife, a mother and a teacher.  And if you are a teacher who works with real, live, children - you have had to do it too!  Some things are simply not worth arguing over...nobody will win. 

I think back to when I was a new teacher and "thought" I could "control" a situation by being the authority.  Do you know what happened?  A lot of power struggles!  I was usually the one egging the student on without ever knowing it!

I have learned a lot over the years from some wonderful resources....Responsive Classroom being my favorite as I have mentioned.  I also learned a lot from the students themselves as well as my own sons at home.  When I finally stopped "fighting" to be in charge, suddenly I was in charge.  Now I am not saying be permissive and let them run willy nilly all over you. (No, those are the dreams we have in August!)  But instead, let go and live a little.

I have spent a lot of time making sure that I have taught my kids routines and procedures, that they know what to do and what my expectations are for sure.  But what do I do when they break them? Well that it a little problem or a big problem?  Let's talk about little problems today...

I use a lot of humor.  Simple? is.  Not sarcasm - that's different but humor. We laugh together and if they are being ridiculous (as fourth graders often are - he took my spot!!!)...then I say "Spots? Who has spots? Chicken pox?" They realize they are being ridiculous and we drop it. 

Other times I answer their complaint with a simple "Gosh, that must bother you. I'm glad you told me." And then I walk want to be heard, acknowledged and listened to. 

Sometimes I lay it on the line - "Do you think you are maybe over reacting?  That's pretty normal for boys this age to do or say?"

And above all else, I change the subject and ask them about something they are interested in or working on in their life outside of school.  How was your basketball game?  Did you watch American Idol last night? Have you heard Adele's latest song?" 

I don't know if it works for everyone, but it works for me - Pick your battles! It will help your relationships flourish....

1 comment:

  1. I can't tell you how much I needed this reminder today. There are several power struggles going on in my room right now. Now I know what my focus is going to be on tomorrow!