Teaching OUTLOUD 10/15
Avoiding the DARK SIDE
Every teacher – even the best of the best teachers – has problems in the classroom. Even when your expectations are high, students make choices. And, much to our dismay, choose to misbehave. What do we do when this happens? What do we do when things go wrong?
When students misbehave, the best teachers have one goal: to keep that behavior from happening again. Revenge should never be the goal when it comes to students. Effective teachers think about what can be done to prevent the misbehavior. As educators, we must focus on what we have the ability to change – our own realm of influence.
“We all know we can’t change what has already happened. What’s the point of directing our energy there?”
Instead – let’s work toward preventing the misbehavior from happening in the future. How will you respond…?
- What is your teacher plan / procedure for when students misbehave?
- Ask yourself which approaches ALWAYS work for you with students?
- Does every teacher have the same options (keeping in mind the variables)?
- When is sarcasm appropriate in the classroom?
- Who decides how many arguments you get into in a week (remember who the adult is in this scenario)?
- Outside of a true emergency, when is an appropriate time and place for yelling?
The best teachers know the answers to these questions and these become the toolbox for how to handle the
problematic situations we encounter. The best teachers know that if you respond appropriately and professionally, everyone wins – and everyone is on your side. Avoid falling to the force of the dark side.
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
“But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will…”
– Master Teacher Yoda
I close with a story: “The Tale of Two Wolves”
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Keep the end goal in mind at all times, keep the behavior from happening again by using your teacher toolbox of options and remember who gets to decide which wolf wins when it comes to dealing with our young people every day.