When I was a kid I was that kid. What kid you ask? The kid that all the teachers talked about. The kid that no one wanted in their class. Why? I was a child with ADHD who was not medicated. I bounced off the walls and had extreme difficulty focusing.
I still remember the worst year of my life. I was a 4th grader in elementary school. My teacher’s ideas of controlling my behavior included a secluded cubby and deep knee bends. My teacher thought I was too crazy to be with the rest of the class so she put my desk behind a partican. I could only hear the class but I could not see them. Whenever she thought I had to much energy she made me do deep knee bends. Up to 100 a day. Needless to say I hated school and I felt unloved by my teachers and sometimes my classmates.
How does this translate to my teaching? As a media coordinator I teach all of the students in the building. I do not want any of my students to feel the way that I did in elementary school. I try to love all of my students regardless of how they behave. I do this by starting over. Every time I see the students I start over. I forget that last time I had them they were distruptive and did not do what I asked. If I don’t assume that they will act up then they start over too and I often see improvement.
Don’t get me wrong when a student consistently acts up it is difficult for the teacher. Just remember to be patient and let all students know that you love them. Eventually, they will understand that you are trying to help them not hurt them. I had one of my toughest students this year. His solution to a problem was to run away if he did not get his way. I told him that running away did not hurt anyone but him because he is a smart kid and when he runs he is missing instruction that can make him smarter. He ran away less and less by the end of the year. Granted his behavior needs to improve more but I celebrate small improvements.
Remember to try to love all your students. Even the tough ones because they are often the ones who need the most love.