Note: Today’s guest blogger is Janet Newcomb, a good friend and teacher. She shared a story with me about teaching, and I asked her to write it down so I could share it with you. Thank you, Janet!
Anyone who has taught a classroom full of kids knows that one of the toughest things to master is good classroom management. I am a very calm, level-headed, patient person, yet I remember a day when I had a screaming, red-faced fit in front of my students.
I had reached the end of my rope with a certain young man who I will call John Smith. John made a habit of interrupting class to add his own commentary, and ignoring him was no longer working.
On this particular day, I lost it. I yelled at him at him about being disrespectful and self-centered. I told him that “life was going to teach him some lessons.” The tears were streaming down my face when I noticed the look of utter shock and disbelief from my other students.
I composed myself, wiped my tears and proceeded to go on with the lesson. The class was in complete silence for the rest of the period. (I do not recommend this as a strategy, by the way. It was exhausting.)
The next time I had this class, John began interrupting again. I felt my frustration building when one of his classmates said, “Dude, don’t you upset her again, you hear me?” I realized, in that moment, how much I care about my students, and that most of my students care about me. I know it’s not because they like my class. I teach high school math, after all.
So, for the record, this is my strategy for making sure my students know I care.
The amazing part is that being kind to and respectful of my students make ME feel good. One of my favorite things about life is that when you are feeling down, the best pick me up is to get out and do for others.
God’s economy is based on the golden rule of doing to others what you would want done to you. The mathematical translation is, “what you do to one side of an equation you must do to the other.”
Just in case you were wondering.