Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 45- Am I a Mean Teacher?

I have been working for about 1 month now at my new place and I have been able to notice some patterns that I have been carrying around with me pretty much in every position I have had that involved working with children. And these points have had a great affect on my well being and functioning within my work environment.
I am going to look at both the bigger picture (that which is being affected) and the smaller picture ( that which causes the affect on the bigger picture).
So the big picture that will particularly relate to my work environment and how I move myself currently is Classroom Management. I think that is something that every teacher has a struggle with, especially a new teacher or however each teacher is probably experiencing this in and for different personal points, perhaps the same like me....

So because of the increase behavioral issues (Bernard did write about this uprising behavior being the direct result of the consequence of how we collectively create this world on existential level- and of course it is the result of genetics and environment on a global scale, as well as the result of parenting on a smaller scale) that we have seen in children in general over time- teachers are faced with harder times of classroom management. In school we are presented with variety of methods to keep a classroom effective- such as negative and positive reinforcement and reward systems, although the new trend at the moment seems to be the use of positive reinforcement without the negative and thus not showing a child that there are consequences for their actions.
In my lessons right now I am learning about diverse learners and that teachers need to differentiate between different learners. Just today I learned about Universal Learning Design. Will continue on that point later.

Ok for this blog I would like to address how I have been experiencing myself in the classroom and what is that baggage that I keep carrying around with me in every classroom I have ever worked at when it comes to managing the children.
Currently at the place I am working I am able to identify multiple children that remind me of my past experiences- for example, one of the boys behavior reminds me of another child I used to have in my classroom when I worked the toddler room. It is like this place complied all my negative experiences and reaction towards behavioral children. So it must be a big point to look at, work on and transcend within myself. The reaction I experience is the following:

The child is defies me (I ask them to follow a direction- they ignore it, tell me no, or continue doing what I asked them not to do). I get an internal reaction/energy of anger towards the child for not listening to me- I raise my voice, I physically direct the child to a different location, or time out, I push on a negative reinforcement (if you don't do this, you can't do that) method- the method backfires- I get even more upset- I raise my voice higher- I feel like I am battling the children so that I can teach my lesson and the result is I get exhausted, I have no fun, I am tense, stuck in a reactive state and my lesson does not carry out as intended and overall I am not really teaching.

Now at this moment I got 5 of these behavior children in my class that seem to "ruin" it for the rest of the children and of course me as the teacher. I understand that force is not the answer and I think I am confusing force and real consequence. Because I want them to understand that there is a consequence for their actions of so called "breaking the rules of the classroom" and I have been applying force rather than understanding because these children refuse to understand/or they are simply not understanding that there is a consequence, why rules need to be followed in the classroom. It is frustrating. I do stand by the principle that things need to be explained to children and that force or scare tactics is not the answer and with any other children I am able to do so....but I have never been able to approach behavioral children because I simply end up getting upset and reacting very negatively. As in I think it is so within me that I have been carrying it around everywhere I go and every time I am faced with a behavioral child- I lose it! I even get spiteful because of the friction that keeps rubbing over and over. I obviously do not hurt them I do have that self control, but I do use a lot of yelling and physical removal (as in pick up the child and place them in a different spot, table, chair and I don't want them to get away with their behavior). I realize I need to change my approach towards such students/children.

Closer look at the reaction point:
I tried to identify a point of defiance in my life because that is what is being reflected at me by those children, however I was not able to. As far as I remember I have always followed through with directions, and it has gotten me upset when someone else is not following through with the directions that I am giving (so not receiving in return I suppose).

I am going to stop here for today.