Ahhhhh ….mistakes! I think I made a big one this morning! I downloaded an application to my computer and it is still scanning……I am praying everything will be ok!! However, it got me thinking! What message do we send our kids when they make a mistake. Hopefully it is “Oh well, no big deal. Let’s move on”, but not always. Students can sometimes get us to a point where we aren’t quite thinking rationally….especially so and so in such and such class!! So what can we do?
Well, before we completely lose our cool, it is ok to say to kids that we make mistakes too. We are indeed human. My mom said this to us growing up without leveraging her authority. It was enlightening. It gave me permission to mess up, but then take the necessary steps to rectify it. Replacing items if I broke them….which happened on occasion, as I am very clumsy! Saying I am sorry and the like. This also connects us to our students. We are no longer just the person in charge, we are a part of the community. We are all learning together.
It has been said that a great technique when you are about to lose your cool is to take a deep breath and count to ten. My problem is I can get too worked up to remember this, so what’s a girl to do? Usually when I have an issue with a student I ask to see them in the hall. This gives me a couple of minutes to breathe and calm down a bit, helps me connect with the student one on one and most importantly, does not embarrass that student in front of peers. In this situation you see the student as a child that needs guidance rather than the kid that drives you nuts every single class!! It helps build the very needed relationship. It is amazing what you find out when you stop and talk to kids calmly. They can tell you a lot more than just words to get them out of trouble!