They’re Watching You

You ever have those days where the children just don’t seem to listen?   Or maybe you have that classroom with one too many challenging behaviors?

Day after day after day… takes it’s toll.  I know this is speaking to someone out there.

I’ve been there.  You wake up in the morning, not wanting to get out of bed.  Perhaps there is a certain child absent that day and you let out a grateful sigh of relief and you’re instantly optimistic.  Or maybe you’ve gone through too many bites, hits and kicks and you’re on the brink of an outburst.

If you’re wondering what’s prompting this post, it’s not because I have a difficult classroom or I’m stressed out.  But I ran into this quote…

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you, worry that they are always watching you.” -Unknown

It hits home because I’ve been there; aware of my frustrations, but careful to not let it affect my teaching or interactions with the children.  Teaching is an emotional job.  Frustration boils up to the surface until it needs to release.  

I’m fortunate that, when I get angry or upset, I will get quiet, shutdown, and shut out everyone else.  Although I don’t believe any preschool child should have an anti-social teacher, it think it’s better than having someone who vents out their anger in different ways.

For example, back in middle school, my English teacher blew up in front of the class.  Everyone was taken aback. He went on a verbal rant, blasting the entire class.  I don’t remember what he said, but it ended with “I’m probably going to hear about this.”  He did.  The principal spoke to our class about the eruption; scolding student and instructor alike.

Moral of the Story: Students are watching you, modeling their behavior after yours.

Mimicry is the highest form of flattery.  The preschool classroom is no different.  In the morning, I’ve complained about not having coffee, so much so that children complained about not having coffee during dramatic play.  Next, they’ll learn the terms tall, grande and venti.

Students are watching you.  With every good word and deed, you place a little “positive” deposit into your student’s memory bank.  Don’t blow your savings by erupting over spilled milk.  You should be doing something to release that frustration.  Also, it’s just spilled milk.

Be aware of your emotions in the classroom.  Vent with other teachers during your break.  Talk it out.  Teaching is a hard job.  It’s natural to become frustrated, but you can never let it out in the classroom.  Model the behaviors you want the children to learn.

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