June 6, 2013

Sticking With It

Recently I began a job at a daycare. I was extremely excited to begin working there because I am pursuing a vocation in elementary education. I knew that this job would be excellent work experience for me and would help me gauge where I am at in classroom management, patience, etc. Needless to say when I was finally assigned for a day in a classroom with three year old children (the oldest and largest class that I've been assigned in my substituting job) I was a little bit nervous. I was not scared of the children themselves, but more if I would be able to manage the classroom by myself in an adequate fashion.

Going in I did not want to be the teacher that intimidated and yelled to keep control. I've had school teachers like that and with my personality all it did was scare me. Granted I was, and am still somewhat, shy and soft spoken, but I also feel like it is important that I find positive ways to keep control not only to have a positive and rewarding work environment but to create a positive experience for my students. I wanted to keep control by instilling respect for me from the children. Now obviously this is not something that can be achieved with a group of very young children in one nine hour period. However, I did begin to pick up some tricks that helped me maintain control when I was left alone. Here are a few of tricks that I have found.

  • Verbally praise children who are following your directions. Do this by calling them by name and saying  what they are doing that you like. You can call them good helpers, good listens, or hard workers. After praising the children who are being obedient ask out loud if there are any other "hard workers" in the room. Soon the whole room will be working to be recognized as well. 
  • Give a misbehaving child a choice. Either they can do what you have instructed or they can have a consequence of your choice. This does not have to be a negative and intimidating experience for the child. This is best done when you are next to the child down on their level instead of standing above them or from across the room. This makes sure that they do not ignore you. 
  • Tell the child how their behavior makes you feel. This is the classic guilt trip. I know they work because my parents used them on me all the time growing up. This makes the child begin to empathize with you and stop the unwanted behavior. 
  • Make what you have instructing exciting. Especially with younger children they are much more likely to want to do something if you make it sound exciting and fun. This not only grabs their attention, but shows that you are excited for it. Who wants to do something that their teacher is dreading?
I have also found that besides simply managing a classroom it is important to be engaged in it. Firstly, this makes your job a heck or a lot more fun. When you are actively walking around and interacting with children your day is much more rewarding. This time is also when you pick up on those cute quirks of each child and you gain those hilarious stories of the funny things kids say. Secondly, this makes for a better environment for your children. It shows that you truly care for them.

I think the greatest lesson that I have taken away from this job so far is patience. Patience is a great attribute to have. I'm not saying the I never get frustrated or feel like giving up, but I do feel like I have grown tremendously. We need more patient people in the world. Staying calm and collected even when faced with something that may seem impossible is what allows us to achieve our dreams and serve others around us. I have deep respect for all the teachers out there. They go to a job everyday to a place where most of the people they work with do not want to be. However, they do it anyway because they know they are making a difference in the world and love it. I hope one day that I will be lucky enough to be numbered among them.

post signature

No comments:

Post a Comment

Images by Freepik