classroom management,  guidance,  positive reinforcement

Let’s talk about guidance…

I’ve spent the last hour on Pinterest looking for the perfect quote to go along with this post, or at least, that’s what I told myself I was doing. I’m pretty sure that what I was really doing was putting off writing this.  I’ve been thinking about this post for the last week, and I’m still not sure what I want to say, or how I want to say it, but I will get the thoughts out of my head, I promise.

Classroom management. Those are two words that can strike fear into even the most seasoned teacher, because the way that you manage your classroom works for you, but there are still those who will judge. Teachers can be harsh on each other! That’s the thing about teaching, there are so many ways to do it, and each theory, philosophy, and personal preference is effective for a different reason.  What works for one teacher isn’t always going to work for another, because we have different personalities, different life experiences, and different students.

I often feel like I am finding new classroom management strategies for each group of students that I work with. It can be like running on a hamster wheel, you keep going forward, but you don’t ever really get anywhere.  Some groups of students are wonderful, and others make me want to pull my hair out, at least until I figure out what works best for them.

So why has this been on my mind? Let’s just say that it has been a really long winter. I have been in my classroom with my kiddos from 9 in the morning until 6 at night all winter long.  We are all going stir crazy, myself included.  My #1 classroom management plan relies on positive reinforcement, I am constantly trying to be appreciative for all of the little things that my students do well, I want to catch them being good friends and good helpers and recognize these qualities.  I try so hard to focus on the positive and show them that they are wonderful little people who have so much to offer.

Unfortunately, last week, I realized that I hadn’t been trying so hard.  I’ve let everything going on in my life turn me into a grumpy teacher.  Last week broke me.  I’m not sure if it was just a culmination of everything that I’ve been struggling with, both personally and professionally, or the recognition that I felt like I was trapped in my classroom, but I honestly just broke down and cried, a lot.  It’s no wonder that my kiddos have been so irritable, because I’ve been irritable.  It shouldn’t surprise me that they don’t want to do any work, because I don’t want to do any work.

I’m not saying that I think I’m a bad teacher, I’m just saying that I’m human.  I let my moodiness take over the classroom, and now that I recognize it, I have to figure out how to change it.  Luckily, the weather seems to be working in my favor. I am one of those people who really feels happier in the sunshine, I can feel it soaking into my skin.  I am so looking forward to getting outside with my class, digging for worms, exploring new places we can walk to, chasing them around the playground until I’m out of breath.

As for all of those other things that are going on in my life, I can’t get rid of them, but I can find the old me, the one who used to see the good in every single situation.  I have a Pinterest Board for quotes, it’s called words to live by, and I do live by these words. I just need to spend more time reminding myself of them!

Thank you for letting me vent! I know it was a long an winding rant, but I honestly feel so much better, and part of me knows that I am not the only teacher who has ever felt this way, so if you can sympathize please let me know!

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