Many training courses trot out the Child Psychology 101 course, in the hope that it will change the way that you, the teacher, feels about children – understanding why they swear at you, ignore you, lie to you, and so on – so that you don’t become angry with them, but instead empathise, sympathise, or even reach a state of pure enlightenment with the class from hell.
This brain-washing effect will work to varying degrees for a limited period after the training course only, depending on how desperate you are to believe it. For example, a couple of the key messages I took with me from my last course were as follows:
Don’t tell what children what to do. They won’t do it. Instead give them choices, for example: “Either you choose to put that away, or you choose to continue waving it around the room, in which case there will be a consequence. It’s your choice.” I must admit, my mind boggles once I get onto the next stage in this imaginary scenario, for example: “You can choose to remove your hands from my neck, or you can choose to (cough) carry on and face the (choke) consequence.”
Bad behaviour that follows such a statement should be ignored as much as possible. No child wishes to lose face in front of their friends, so they will swear, raise their eyes to the heavens, badmouth you, etc. You, the teacher, should remain focused on the outcome you want, rather than the route the child takes in achieving it. On no account swear back, or tell them that they won’t be at school for ever, and you know where they live.
But let me put this into context for you, and show you how training courses can allow your brain to accept that you are entirely helpless and unable to adminster the punishment the child deserves, whilst neutralising all urges to show the child how much they have wound you up.
Thanks for reading, be sure to check my other posts about school and my teaching days. Stay tuned for new entries, there`s always something to write about!