By Teachers, For Teachers
One of the most important classroom management qualities a teacher can possess is patience. Patience is a virtue, and teachers must have it in order to be effective. It can be easy to lose your patience, especially when you’re in a room full of children. There’s always something that can set you off, from a child tapping her pencil to someone else constantly interrupting you. You’re bound to get irritated at some point or another. So how can you handle these pet peeves and build up a tolerance to be a patient teacher? Here are a few classroom management tips.
The first thing that you can do is to create a learning environment where everyone (including yourself) feels comfortable to share his feelings. You can start by having a classroom discussion at your morning meeting. The more you give your students the opportunity to share their feelings openly with the class, the more they will feel comfortable doing so. Everyone has things that bother them, so the best way to get past these things is to talk about them. You can even make a lesson out of it at your morning meeting. Have students create a list of everything that annoys them (without saying anyone’s names, of course). This will help children be aware of what bothers other people which can help minimize an issues or situations in the classroom.
One of the best things that you can do to help you become a patient teacher is to physically set up your classroom in a way that works for you and your students. By simply creating routines, as well as rearranging the classroom furniture, you’ll be able to help curb the frustrations or pet peeves that may be occurring. For example, if one of the things that annoys you the most is that the classroom library is always in disarray, then assign a student to be in charge of keeping it in order. Are the students always arguing about who gets to pass out the papers or be the line leader? Then create a job for it and switch it out every week. Write down every single pet peeve that you have, then strategize how you can make it better. You can even do this with the students and have them brainstorm strategies for their pet peeves as part of a classroom assignment.
It’s important that you learn to be responsive rather than reactive if your goal is to be a patient teacher. One of my many faults as a human being is that I’m a reactive person by nature. Instead of stopping and thinking about something, I just immediately react. It can be quite a challenge to learn to be responsive, but with a little forethought it’s possible. Here’s how.
One of the best ways that you can practice patience is to practice self-care. For many teachers, taking time out to do something for themselves is unthought-of. But, as you know, it’s quite easy to get teacher burnout, so taking time to practice some basic self-care methods can help you stay calm, cool and collective in the classroom. You’ve heard it all before the best way to stay healthy is to get enough rest, stay active, and eat healthy foods. Experts have listed these methods because they work. Try and follow these tips as well as watching your caffeine intake throughout the day and you should feel your mood change for the better. It’s also wise to try and take a few breaks for yourself anytime that you can. When your students are in lunch or at a special, carve out about five minutes to do what makes you feel good. Call a friend, listen to music, meditate, play Candy Crush on your phone, or just put your head down and rest your eyes.
There’s going to be moments of the day were you’re going to feel irritated, that’s normal. However, the way that you react to the situations, as well as what you do to set yourself (and your classroom) up for success, can make all the difference.
Are you a patient teacher? If advice do you have for teachers who aren’t so patient? Please share your classroom management expertise in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com