A bunch of us are eating lunch together in the staff room. The topic of discussion is the antics of a certain student. He’s definitely having one of those days. We “professionally” compare notes, and it is clear that the student has disrupted every class so far – except one. He was fine in Mr. Garcia’s class. In fact, Mr. Garcia never has any problem with him.
As we jokingly tease Mr. Garcia about his superpowers as a teacher, a strange idea dawns in my head. Mr. Garcia is a little nerdy. His room is filled with plants – hanging from the ceiling, climbing from the walls… every possible place where a plant could be, there is one. And guess who is also into plants, and in fact comes in before school every day to help water Mr. Garcia’s plants? You guessed it – that student.
Don’t get so focused on your long teaching to-do list that you forget to be yourself.
So what am I saying? That every classroom should have a million plants in it? No, what I’m saying is let your students see and know what you’re into. If you love a certain sports team, wear the colors on game day. If you sew medieval costumes, bring them in so the students can see them. Love shoes? Mountain biking? Poodles? Handmade pasta? Square dancing? Balloon animals? Whatever it is, share it! And don’t get so focused on your long teaching to-do list that you forget to be yourself.
Even if your students think you’re weird for liking whatever it is, it will make you more human to them. After, all the human connection is what teaching is all about. Plus – big bonus – students will challenge you less if they can relate to you as a person.
Now go create a great day for yourself and your students!
Katrina Ayres, Positive Teaching Strategies
Additional Awesome Teacher Nation Resources
- Create a Great Day for Yourself and Your Students
- 5-Minute Classroom Management Hints
- The Take-Charge Teacher
- All The Ways I Screwed Up My First Year of Teaching
- The Classroom Teacher’s Coloring Book
- The Classroom Teacher’s Coloring Book, Volume 2
- Why Threats and Punishments Don’t Work
- Saving Time on Paperwork and Grading
- 7 Strategies to Deal With the Pencil Sharpener
- What’s the BEST Classroom Management Strategy?
- Taming the Chaos: How to Create and Effective Classroom Routine
- Making Money as an In-Demand Substitute Teacher
- A Day in the Life of a Substitute Teacher
- The Substitute Teacher’s Troubleshooting Guide