Keeping Your Cool

Keeping your cool as a teacher is something we all have to do. As teachers, we have all had those moments of complete frustration. You already have had a rough day, your students are having difficulty focusing, and you’re starting to lose your cool. At these points, it’s even more important to remember, stay calm and keep teaching on.

The following are a few difficult situations you may run into as a teacher and some tips on how to overcome them. It’s very normal to become frustrated as a teacher – I mean we are responsible for imparting knowledge to a class full of children with different needs, not an easy task.

Repeating Yourself

DSC_0631If there’s anything that pushes my buttons it’s repeating the exact same thing over and over. Now, without a doubt, this is a teacher’s job, but there’s a difference between repeating for a lack of understanding and repeating for a lack of paying attention.

The best solution I’ve found for this common problem is to make sure I have the entire classes complete attention before going into an explanation. This can be done by playing a quick game, using an engaging anecdote, or simply waiting until the class is ready for you to speak.

When you have the classes attention you can begin describing the next step in your lesson. Of course, some students will still often need your help, but you can be assured that they first listened to your instructions.

Talking Over Teachers

Students have a lot to say. No matter the age group I’ve worked with there has always been one, two, three, maybe more, students in a class that find whatever they need to say extremely urgent, more so than what the teacher needs to say.

At these points in time, I find making a rule most efficient. “No talking when the teacher is talking,” or simply “respect others,” which includes not talking while others are speaking. When students start speaking over each other that class can get real rowdy, real fast.

Save yourself the aggravation of speaking over others and nip this one in the bud before it starts. Going home with a raspy voice everyday is no one’s idea of a good idea.

Spacing Out or Not Paying Attention

Like was said earlier, we are teaching classes with a variety of different students. All these students have different needs, desires, backgrounds, study habits, and learning styles. Being able to engage every student can be tricky at times.

Over time you will find the different interests of your students and will learn how to harness those interests in your teaching. Also include various methods of teaching in your lessons: visual, auditory, read-write, and kinesthetic. This will ensure the maximum reach to the maximum amount of students.

Developmental Phases

However, some students will have days when they can’t seem to focus at all. Their attention is elsewhere and no matter what you do they can’t seem to put pencil to paper.

During these times it’s important to remember, these are growing children that are going through different phases of development. A strong sense of empathy in these situations will go a long way.  

Different age groups will need different types of responses. An elementary school grade group will have vastly different needs from a middle school group. Even from year to year these groups will change dramatically. Don’t take it as a personal attack if children aren’t listening or are being difficult – they are each dealing with their own problems as well.

Most importantly, keep control of our emotions. If we lose our cool, so will the students. Earning students’ respect outweighs earning their fear.

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