What is going on? Why are my students acting this way? Have you ever caught yourself justifying why the way students (and maybe the adults in the building) are acting a certain way at a certain time of the year? Like: “Oh, it is a full moon”, “The barometer is dropping”, or “We haven’t had a break in a while” or “You can tell a break is coming up”. I know I have and it wasn’t until recently I started to ask myself why was I feeling that way and were my students also feeling that way?
At a recent New Teacher Training, a colleague shared the following graphic with new teachers.
It made me think that it may not just be new teachers who feel this way. It is also true for veteran teachers (at least I know it is true for me) and I am guessing it may be true for our students as well.
I think if we know this and think about which phase we and our students are in, we can approach these times of year differently than we have in the past. One thing to think about as you look at the graphic of how teachers/students feel during the year is, “What would I like/need from my colleagues to help me deal with how I am feeling?” I am a true believer that many times, what we need from those around us, is the exact same thing that our students need from us and their peers.
It could be as simple as a kind word in passing, a note given anonymously, time to talk with others, one-on-one time with a friend or colleague, the sky's the limit and it doesn’t have to be anything huge or spendy. One area I know that I turn to when I hit my lows, either in teaching or life in general, is plugging back into relationships with my colleagues, friends, and family. I think we also need to do the same with our students because, let’s face it, the relationship-building we do with our students doesn’t end after the first week of school. Just like the routines we use in the classroom that need to be revisited and retaught, the relationships we build with our students need to be nurtured throughout the year.
It’s true that we start the year getting to know our students, but there are many ways to keep building upon those early steps. Some ideas can be found at the following links:
To sum it up, do for your kids what you want others to do for you: make you feel special and loved.
This post brought to you by Jen Coenen, Secondary Implementation Associate and STEM Village Director
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