Yes, you love your kids. But every once in a while, it may seem as if they are possessed by an evil, evil little spirit. You may not even recognize them. You may be wondering why they have suddenly become Satan’s spawn. And although they hurt your feelings or say things that just simply infuriate you, you have to forgive them. This sounds obvious, but it’s easier than you think to blacklist a child. You may not even realize you’re doing it, but the other students will, and that particular student definitely will. Even though you will invariably have your favorites and your not-so-favorites, your students must never be able to tell the difference. So be aware of your words as well as your actions. Make every student believe that he/she is your favorite. Be neutral. Think Switzerland.
So let’s say one of your students is having a bad day, I mean worse than Alexander’s Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, and you know it so you go easy on her. At one point during the lesson, in which you have consciously not called on her, you simply ask her to stop tapping her pen on the desk. She decides that one request justifies the initiation of World War III. It is a relatively brief war with no casualties, but both sides are left wounded. So what now? Well, you don’t have to deal with her for the rest of the period since she’s already halfway to the principal’s office by now. So maybe it will just be easier to pretend like nothing happened. Easier approach? Of course. Ignorance is bliss, after all. But effective approach? Not so much.
It is always a good idea to clear the air with the student. This doesn’t have to be a “let’s go outside in the hallway and talk it out” conversation. It can be as simple as a quick comment said with a smile as they enter the room the next day. Your approach depends on the child. Maybe you do need to talk something out, or maybe he just needs a high-five from you later on that day in the hallway. She just needs to know that you are over whatever happened, and willing to start fresh the next day. Don’t hold grudges. You’re not in high school anymore. Well, you technically are, but you’re not the student. So be the adult. You must start with a clean slate. Life is about making mistakes and learning from them.
As Mel Brooks once said, “As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes.” As long as your students own up to them responsibly, it’s time to move forward.
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