By Lynne R. Dorfman
Often, we are so concerned with positive ways to manage student behavior that we forget about the importance of our positive attitude each and every day. As the school year dips into the middle of autumn, already we start to question if we are meeting all our students’ needs and doing the best job we possibly can do. Good classroom management that creates a positive environment starts with the teacher. What can you do at school and away from school to use and enhance positive energy?
- At recess or lunch period, take some time to read a chapter in a novel or read some poetry, take a walk on the school grounds or neighborhood, or write a personal note to a colleague to thank or praise him for something he did for you or the staff.
- Stay (when you can) after school to comment and grade papers or start a little earlier to do the same before school starts. Find a quiet spot away from the door so your colleagues will be less inclined to drop in to chat with you during this time. The work will be completed much faster in school than at home!
- If someone on the staff is a constant source of negative energy, steer clear!
- Teach students how to do things for themselves as soon as possible. They need to feel capable, and their greater independence will free up some precious time for you to manage all that is required of you.
- Find a friend you can have lunch with regularly and decide to pack a lunch once or twice a week with each other in a location other than the teachers’ lunchroom.
- Do what you can to build a positive attitude about being at school. Be sure to say “hello” to your colleagues when you pass them in the hallway. Share your ideas freely, and be willing to problem solve as a cooperative team whenever the occasions arise.
- Set high expectations for your students and be their biggest cheer leader.
- On the weekends or on Mondays before school begins for the week, reflect on things that went especially well during the previous week. Select one experience and record it in your writer’s notebook. Savor the moment!