Have you ever had a student that pushes your buttons? That ignores your requests to be a listener? To be quiet when someone is talking?
That can be extremely frustrating as a teacher. In your mind, you might be thinking that they are being defiant. Or that they are a bad.
But what if it was not that at all?
The thought occurred to me one afternoon at dismissal. It is usually loud and busy at that time of day anyways. But one particular afternoon I heard crayons being pushed around in the bin. Instantly, I begin looking for the source of the sound only to meet the eyes of a blonde haired little boy smiling. As I looked into those eyes, I realized he was looking for me to look at him. To say his name - to notice him.
The next day, he and I sat down and I told him that I wanted to hear what he had to say. I wanted to get to know him. His voice did matter in our classroom – to me. During that time, I also talked about ways he could get my attention in a positive way.
After that conversation, things shifted.
When you have a student who is pushing buttons – do you look beyond the behavior and ask why? I had read many books on it, but I always felt confined to making my students behave that I could never get to the root of the behaviors.
Digging deeper, finding out the why of the behavior answers the missing questions as to what we can do to help a student. If we are only addressing the behavior at the surface, we will never find out what that student needs.
Next time a student is disruptive or has behavioral challenges, look beyond the behavior and find out what the student needs.
Last Thursday I graduated with my masters and in the weeks leading up to it, I was excited but it was also bittersweet. As I was getting ready for the ceremony that night, I started reflecting more on my journey and who I am as a learner.
When I was in elementary school, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. My fourth grade teacher sparked a light inside me that has never burned out. There is something about the profession that fuels my soul. I love researching new ideas and trying them out…it makes me fall in love with teaching all over again. But most importantly, I love sparking a love for learning in my students.
2. What are your connections to the “School vs Learning image? What would you add or modify?
I'm going to take that question in a little bit different direction. But I've been pondering the School vs Learning image since I saw it last Friday. Actually, I have been mulling over the whole chapter - engage vs. empower.