There are days and sometimes weeks where your class drive you crazy – almost to the point where you wonder why you ever decided to become a teacher – yet there is an expectation that this is your vocation and therefore you are happy and love every single thing about teaching and every single day of the week and month of the year. Reality however can be very different at times. I love teaching and the children that I have taught will always hold a special place in my heart but there have been days where I was really tested so I’m writing this blogpost to let other teachers know that it is ok to have bad days/weeks and to share some tips that have helped me along the way.
What are you doing?
Have you changed the way you were doing something? Is there something going on in your personal life that is affecting the way you are behaving? Your mood can have a massive effect on the moods of the children in your classroom and the dynamics in the room – maybe you need some time out so give yourself a break – meet up with friends, have a binge session of netflix, go out for dinner, go for a walk, have a spa day with a good friend.
Choose your battles
During the course of your career, you will get a very tricky class where there will be lots of problems/issues and you will have to choose wisely about what to tackle and what to ignore. Sometimes when you get stressed/annoyed or when the class are really acting up – you notice every tiny thing and it drives you more mad so stop, take a step back and think of what are the most important things that need to be dealt with first – tackle these and make them your focus.
Always have high expectations. Share these with the children and explain why these expectations are important. Focus on the positive; ‘I know you will be the best behaved class in the school at assembly. I can’t wait to get a good report from the principal later.’ this is a much better message than ‘If you are not good at assembly there will be consequences.’
If there is a rule/expectation then all children must follow that rule at all times. If one child gets away with not doing something in the expected way then others will try to get away with it too. If they are then reprimanded – there will feel that they have been treated unfairly.
Try something new
Sometimes things are just boring and the children need something new/ a change. Last year, I changed my behaviour management system in the summer months and the children had to earn points for the ‘Ice Cream Challenge’ – their motivation grew massively and they were so excited to have a new challenge to work towards.
Find the good things
When things aren’t going smoothly – we tend to focus on the negatives and ignore all the positives. So again, take a step back and think of the things that have gone well – maybe a lesson that the children enjoyed or a performance at assembly, or that all the children remembered their full stops and capital letters in their latest writing task.
Sometimes we have rules and expectations that the children are constantly not following. Sometimes its good to sit down and chat about the rules and expectations. Talk to the children about why we can’t run on the way in from yard or why they need to line up in 2’s or why they can’t talk when doing their written work, or why they need to put their hand up when they have a question. Often when the children understand and accept why they need to do something – they then do it.