I have always been a Grade 1 - Kindergarten teacher, and I have been afraid of entering Intermediate and Junior classrooms. I have committed myself to overcoming this fear of older classes. So recently, I have been expanding my practice into those grades. This week I was in a 6/7 split class for 3 days. I survived it! How did I do it? I'm glad you asked...
I took a new approach and shifted my thinking and that has made a world of difference. Think about this....for every student who is disrespectful and disruptive in class, there are 10 students who are respectful, helpful, and eager to learn. Shifting my focus to these students helps me to stay focused on the learning that they deserve. I stay positive, get to know some really amazing kids, and have fun with them while we learn together.
The students who choose to challenge me for whatever reason, I try to approach them in a loving way and avoid becoming frustrated. As soon as I let the negativity get to me, then I have lost the opportunity to learn what they need. Sometimes just asking a student to help me, or to have a short chat with them in the hall (away from the audience) can help me start to build a trusting relationship with them. But this can only come from a place of calm.
So perhaps I can't reach every student, and it's inevitable that a few students will challenge me. Keeping my attention and efforts on the positive, staying calm when the challenges appear, helps me to have a good day with some amazing students who want to learn from me.
My name is Mikki Leung. I am an educator and a student. I have been teaching for 7 years, but have been working with kids in an educational setting for over 15 years. I understand that in order to be an effective educator, who is responsive to student needs, I need to reflect on my practice. This blog is a vehicle for my continued growth and reflection.