When the Parkland tragedy happened, we all watched something major happen. More students and teachers than ever before came together to demand change. The most prominent demand was change in laws. While this was insanely inspiring to me, I also felt frustration. Frustration that laws take time…. sometimes they take a lot of time. All I kept thinking about is WHAT CAN WE DO NOW?!
Get administration involved
We need to get administration on board with stronger support with behavior and emotional issues within our classroom.
How many of you have had a student in your classroom that just isn’t responding to any of the methods or resources that you have used? Now how many have you gone to admin and don’t always get the response and help that you were desperately hoping for?
After working with many teachers on their classroom management, I am willing to say that there is a pretty good chance you are raising your hand right now.
While I am not putting this all on administration within your school (sometimes their hands are completely tied), I do think administration outside of the school needs to take some responsibility. The sad thing is, they often times forget what being in the classroom is like and can lose sight of everything that happens within our days.
Use your voice, bring it to their attention, be heard
I know it can be hard, but raise your voice. Don’t take no (as in no help) for an answer.
I get it… I am completely non-confrontational, and very much an introvert. One year I had a child that would actually leave bruises on me and other students that couldn’t run out of the class in time. One of the teachers in my grade level would actually joke that he would be the kid who would shoot up a school one day. While it was a sickening joke (that we all hated), it now makes me stop and think… even if it is a joke, what if we see signs early on? It is a terrifying thought. In all things, early intervention is always key.
Finally one day, I hit my breaking point. I was done crying everyday after frustration – I was just so sad for this child and so defeated as a teacher. So I went above the administration and contacted the school board. One of the members was eager to come watch my class, and was glad he did. He saw that we lost almost a half day of work because we were constantly leaving the classroom to get away from the child. He went to the superintendent to let him know what he saw. The next week, this child went through testing and it was found that he needed a lot of help with behavioral and emotional issues.
Often times with tragedies happening, you often hear about how troubled the child was. I always am brought back to this story and hear the haunting voice of that teacher making that “joke.”
Again, Early Intervention Is Key
We need to start the conversations with our admin about making the best use of our counselors.
Unfortunately it is a common occurrence that counselors are used for other tasks around the school because they are available at the time.
What if these trained professionals were able to actually work with students who we saw struggling emotionally on a frequent basis? This is another one of those instances that has me wondering… what if?
What if this can be a game changer for us? What if behavior issues can be helped a bit? What if it truly helps these children who think their only option out is to resolve it with some sort of violence?
Think about that.
It’s a change that is possible
I think with testing and all sorts of other demands, we as teachers and administration have lost sight of the little things. We put so much emphasis on everything else that we forget to come back to the basics and just help the students.
I have said it before, and I will continue to say it: teachers will blame behaviors on the parents. While that can be true in some situations, just saying it doesn’t make things change. If you want to see change, you need to take the matter into your own hands.
So let’s take the time to start these conversations. Laws take time but if we bring up this huge issue, this is a fix that can start NOW.
so now tell me…
Think of other ways that you think we can inspire change that can happen NOW in the comments.
Happy Classroom Management Monday <3