What if I chose not yell for the rest of the year? Could I actually do it? What might I do instead? Maybe I didn't have to be hoarse a couple times a month. I didn't know it would change my life...
This is what I did.
I waited for silence, stopping if anyone talked.
I whispered sometimes, handing candy to those who heard me.
I tried joking about their behavior, mimicking it sometimes back at them.
I rewarded and praised kids more often, noting good behavior.
I'd work with admins to have a plan for troublemakers.
I called guidance for strategies for specific kids.
I still gave some detentions, but did so quietly which unnerved them.
I addressed poor behavior as soon as I could.
I contacted parents more often noting both good things and problems.
I was vigilant about treating "good" and "troubled" kids equally.
Though sarcasm is not always good, it became a humorous tool.
If behavior was roundly bad, we sat silently without art for a day.
I told those who enable bad behavior were just as guilty.
I made kids understand the "WHY" of my rules and discipline.
I stopped saying, "Because I said so" because no one likes that.
I shared personal experiences of how I was bullied so they understand.
I stop all behavior that remotely smells of bullying.
I let them know I too am held accountable for their behavior.
I learned to not take their behavior or disrespect personally.
I know their brains are not fully set; they really can't help "it" sometimes.
I laugh at myself.
I share a bit more of myself, heartaches and successes.
I give every kid a small gift on their birthday, or on the last day of school.
I listen more.
I sit with them and learn about them while they work.
I let them know I am here for them and not the administration.
I let them know every day is a new day and I forgive them.
I let them know, I make mistakes too and hope they will forgive me too.
All this, and I became a better teacher.
Will you take the challenge?
What are YOUR tips?