Class Management and Fun

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                Two of my favorite shows are Supernanny and The Dog Whisperer.  In the show Supernanny, Joe Frost demonstrates natural patience, love for the kids and teens, but from a responsible parent position.  We would watch the difficulties parents were having (i.e. kids misbehaving, not listening, taking forever to stay in bed, fighting with siblings, and much more).  When Joe Frost entered the homes, immediately, the children calmed down. She would spend the first day observing the family and how the parents interacted with the children, making recommendations afterwards.  Then, she would either demonstrate or give advice and guide.  The main thing is she was organized, cared, and was very consistent, knowing what works with our youth.  The children came to respect her more and more, so when she left, they were missing her.  Of course, she would contact the family on a later date for an update.  Every time we watched, the parents were getting more sleep, had a better relationship with their children, and the children were happier.

                In The Dog Whisperer, what Cesar demonstrated was calmness.  He usually identified the miscommunication between pet owners and their pets, that the owners should be the leaders, but this requires understanding the dogs.  Through calmness (for animals react to our emotions), consistency, and organization, he teaches the owners, so the owners become the pack leaders.

                As a teacher, I have always enjoyed the classroom, teaching, but also encouraging creativity.  But I understood early, the teacher has to be the pack leader.  However, a good teacher also encourages the students to be leaders themselves.  This requires time and understanding.  However, over time, with consistency, caring, and direction, the students are working together and getting along.  Even the students who seem to want to try the teacher, through calmness (for young people react to adult emotions), but also leadership and consequences, they learn to realize it’s better to learn and do the work, for in that, they will gain information and understanding that benefits them.

                Although, in the early years, I thoroughly enjoyed the teaching experience, times were changing.  To meet these changes, I knew I had to improve upon management skills.  The Dog Whisperer and Supernanny were two shows that explained what I had always known, but they put much more music to the songs.  They showed, in real time, and through watching, I could better understand student behaviors.  Having said that, I knew the importance of patience, organization, and consistency, but also consequences and a firm stance.  For what class doesn’t have at least one child that won’t test the teacher, who doesn’t listen to their parents, and has made difficulty with other teachers and adults.  It’s a learned behavior.  And if one student or more are creating difficulty, and get away with it, others will eventually follow.  Eventually, we have difficulties where none should exist, for each teacher creates an environment that is exclusive to that classroom.  Of course, staff cooperates, and understanding the dynamics goes a long way to improving overall school behaviors.

                Young people love it when the adults show patience, but also are the leaders, take responsibility, and enforce good rules, requiring them to be responsible as well.  But young people often don’t come out of the package so to speak with self-discipline.  This is where the adults and parents lead.  And without leadership, they are left to the whims of friends and others who are rebellious and aren’t responsible.  In schools, it’s paramount that the teachers understand this.  For in this, the students feel safe and enjoy the learning process.  They respect the teachers and therefore, grow to become respectable adults themselves.

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