The other day I was with a teacher, in a guest teacher situation, who was clearly frustrated with her class. She said, and I quote, "All the students are horrible. They’re disrespectful, talk all the time!", etc. Wow! I thought they were an evil class. After meeting them for the first time, my heart melted. They were such cute 3rd graders! Not monsters like she had described, but just kids!
This is how I formed my opinion! I took the students back to my class (we took turns teaching the students). She was able to come in with me. I used two of my tools and after about 20 minutes the students were engaged, following directions and working hard to learn!
What disrespectful students? I can see how they COULD be. But, I also saw how they were behaving to my expectations. This is not about them. Sorry, to say but it’s about this teacher. After witnessing success in managing her “disrespectful” class, she still had doubts. In fact, she criticized my success saying that the students will do this for only a couple of days and then "they would go back to normal". They won’t, but that’s not the important point! It’s her skepticism!
Is it easier to blame the students? Is it easier to just keep complaining? Is it natural to say you’ve tried everything and nothing will work? Probably YES to all of those. But, that’s why successful management of our classroom environment IS difficult. But, so is trying to control kiddos! I’d rather put in the hard work before, proactively, and have more success than trying to “put out fires” later. That’s MORE exhausting because there’s so much emotion, exhaustion and unsuccessful effort! Not me! I think my time and sanity is more important than not being proactive.
So, if you’re really frustrated, really want help and are truly hopeful. Then resisting change IS the easier path right now, but not the one you should take!