Teachers and other adults in the classroom all have an important role to play in ensuring that the conditions are right for effective learning to take place.
And that means cultivating grace under pressure, not flapping around.
Classrooms are full of emotions and sometimes these can run wild so its easy to lose your temper when someone winds you up.
But losing your temper is the last thing to do because this has a negative impact on children – they don’t like it. You might think that’s the whole point but it really isn’t. Losing your temper means losing control and when emotions take over then strange things can happen.
There have been instances where teachers under considerable pressure have ‘lost it’ and then gone on to lose their jobs because their behaviour has turned ugly. No one should get to that stage but it happens.
When teachers have an emotional outburst students can get frightened and see you in a new light. Some might even find it funny and laugh which only makes matters worse.
For any teacher, controlling emotions is difficult because it requires considerable mental effort to be professional. I was told by my mentor when training to ‘show my other side’ in order to ‘show them who is boss’. So that’s what I did and it was bad advice. Children were scared and trusted me less.
Shouting and ‘showing your other side’ isn’t what to do at all. I found out through bitter experience that to be effective in my relationships with children came down to being graceful and dignified. You can raise your wings without hissing and snorting.
Losing control makes a situation much worse in most cases so being calm and composed is what I say as a mentor. You certainly don’t need to raise your voice. In fact, lowering it works ten times better.
When we channel our energies into acting with grace then it’s better for our own well-being and the well-being of our children.