From Friday evening, my throat felt a little funny and I simply throat it was a bit of a tickle and nothing more. Come this morning, I felt light headed, tired, nose felt funny, and knew that I had over done it during the half term, so as a result I had fallen ill. I woke up and only properly tested my voice once I got to work. It sounded like shattered glass 😦
But I thought that whilst there I should at least stay for half the day’s training for teaching staff. So the session from 9:00-12:15 was on Behaviour Management. Our guest teacher for the session was this lively fellow who was very keen on getting us all to write things down on A1 sugar paper and to stand up and be active for half the session.
At first, as a group we weren’t sure where the session was heading or if it would be useful. And then everything changed. He showed us the simplest things to do; somehow it was the most obvious of things and yet we didn’t see it coming. In a very non-patronising way he explained to us how we should (a) understand that we can only control internal factors (lesson pace, managing attention, tasks) in the class but should not aim to control external factors. Teaching is hard enough without trying to be every student’s social worker or councillor. (b) It’s OK to admit that there are times you just can’t deal. That there might be a day where you need to explode, and that’s OK. We are owed that one day to go berserk. Too often, then there’s a problem for sure. Other than that, we should not be scared when this day comes, but do it properly and fully to give it justice 😀
The important message the speaker wanted us to take away was this: We’re not alone.
This comes back to my post on how self-reflection can be damaging to teaching and to oneself when most of the time you’re having to be critical of all that you do. And when you’re at the end of your tether and let your guard down with your students by not staying in control, you go home and feel terrible about it. You begin to take it all personally, think you’re not teaching well, think that maybe you’re not cut out to be a teacher.
Today’s training was actually more important than I would have imagined when he made that very clear in the session; regardless of subject area, we all struggle with behaviour management one way or another. The idea is not to put on this bravado of being an A grade teacher, but being one willing to share their trials and short-comings with a colleague, all in the hope to improving themselves and their teaching.
Majority of people left feeling better about themselves. It was like therapy. We got to put down all that we were angry with and come out with practical solutions that we can work towards. I left today feeling like I can handle a tricky situation better now than before. This power as a teacher has been acknowledged, I hope it stays that way.