Have you ever had “that” class? Or perhaps you have them now. They are the one everybody in the hall whispers about. The class that has made three teachers take retirement after teaching them, even though they had been eligible for years beforehand…
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Yes, I’ve had them too. However, I’ve come to realize that those classes helped me grow more as an educator than the “easy” classes ever could! Here’s what I mean:
- Even though I thought I had some different behavior tricks up my sleeve, I now know at least another dozen! Click here to read a few of them that I’ve learned.
- I’ve loaded up on even more great professional books, or read those that I already had in my stash. Many of the strategies I’ve read have been put into place immediately, but others have been filed away in my brain for future use. The book I recommend most is The First Days of School by Harry Wong. I read it about once a year, but it sits right on my desk when I have a tough class to reference regularly!
- I’ve realized that my peripheral vision is phenomenal! Maybe it’s all the practice I got in… Just being aware of what is going on, walking around the room almost continuously, and using student names mid-sentence has really helped with my classroom management.
- People approach me all the time asking how to deal with certain behaviors. I can give advice and various strategies that they have never used. (Click the link in the previous sentence to see a few of them!)
- Other teachers are using my strategies in their classrooms, and I didn’t even tell them about what I do! Apparently word gets around when you can get “them” to listen and work effectively. While I’m not a huge Whole Brain Teaching advocate, I do have to say that the simple “Class, Class” with “Yes, Yes” response works wonderfully. I got 52 students quieted down in the lunchroom within 2 seconds (and seriously impressed my principal).
- My behavior/classroom management board on Pinterest is FULL of ideas! Why would anyone EVER need to look anywhere else for tips?
- I’ve been complimented by fellow teachers, parents, and administrators for getting everything to run smoothly. So apparently things are going well for other’s viewpoints because these compliments often rolled in when I thought things looked pretty bleak! The point is to keep on keeping on. Even if things look bad from your viewpoint, you might very well be making more of a difference and doing better than you think!
- My list of professional contacts has doubled! When I got stuck with a certain group or student, I would reach out to my colleagues (past and present) for help – even going back to request the advice of college professors. If they couldn’t offer me any advice, they often knew someone who could! I’ve hung on to these contacts for future reference because I never know when they might come in handy again. Reach out to others. Educators really are in this together, so others are generally very happy to help you out.
I’m sure many of you are in the midst of “that” class right now. Don’t give up! While they may seem challenging now, you are going to learn more from this group of students than you ever thought possible! Sit back, do your best, search for ideas to help you with them, and know that you will make it through the year an even better teacher than when you started!