While searching for an idea for my third journal entry, I came across this twitter post stating “classroom management is not about managing ‘bad’ kids, but about recognizing why kids behave in certain ways and giving them the tools to be their best selves”. I can definitely relate to this statement. I have fallen into this trap before where I find myself thinking, if only I could get “Bobby” to behave. When I first began working with children I found myself in this trap more times than I would like to admit, you become stressed by a child’s behaviours (they are being disruptive, they aren’t listening, etc.) and as a result you end up trying to find ways to manage the behaviours of these “bad kids”. It became a very slippery slope, because the more attention I paid to the bad behaviours (scolding, reprimanding, pausing my class to halt the behaviours) and trying to resolve them, the more they occurred. I was at a loss. It wasn’t until I was telling my troubles to one of my coworkers that she suggested when such behaviours happen I try a different approach. She told me to think about that child and try to piece together why they might be acting the way they are. She also suggested letting minor behaviours slide and instead of reacting pull the child aside at an appropriate time and talk to them, ask them what’s going on, how they’re feeling and also letting them know that their behaviour is disruptive. With much hesitation, I gave it a try. And it seemed to work. Sure, this may not work 100% of the time, but it works more often than being reactive. There are still moments where I find myself reacting, but I try to reign myself in and remember what my coworker told me.
I think the educative experience in this statement reminds us, that as future educators we are going to encounter all sorts of children who come from many different places and that all of these children will have a personality unique to them. There are bound to be some children who behave “badly”. But it is important for us to remember, these students have unique personalities, stories, needs, and beliefs. When we take the time to show that we care about who they are rather their behaviours it shows that we care. I believe that when we show our students compassion and care that we help to enable them to “become their best selves”.