Sunday, May 26, 2013

What? You want me to talk to them?

Talk to your students!
I can't tell you how many times in my very short career I have turned a hostile dynamic between a student and myself in to a caring relationship! As a school counsellor I am truly surprised at how often a teacher asks me to speak with a student about their disruptive behaviour and when I ask them what the student has said about it thus far the teacher hasn't even had a conversation with the student! Don't you think it would make sense to, you know, actually start a dialogue with the student and share with them what behaviour is being disruptive and why? What ever happened to 'I' statements:
"Susie I feel disrespected when you get up in the middle of a lecture and go to the washroom and don't return for 15 minutes. What is going on for you?"

It's really quite simple. During both of my practicums I had 1 student who could not deal with the teacher switch and took it out on me. And what did I do? I asked them to step out in the hallway and let the know that I was on their team and wanted them to succeed so if I could help them with that in any way for them to let me know (of course I also used my 'I' statements to convey my feelings surrounding their negative behaviour). And every time it worked! Amazing right? We teach our kids to express themselves but then we don't give them a chance when it isn't convenient for us?

So do it! Talk to your kids! All the best teachers always ask their kids to fill out a survey during the first day of class which asks them about themselves so that the teacher can learn a few key things about that student. That is how you connect. Talk to them, learn about them, but most of all, care about them.

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