Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hitting Pause

As a parent I'm pretty good, but far from perfect, at pausing with my daughters. By this I mean waiting rather than gut responding to them, be it to their questions, comments, or actions. This allows me to quickly reflect on my response options and the effects of them. If one girl is bugging the other, I try to step back and fully assess the situation and weigh the possible responses. When one makes a comment that sounds rude to me, I attempt to take their perspective to determine if the comment is rude given their knowledge and experiences. Then I can better address the issue.

I'm not very good at this as a teacher. Is it because I don't trust my students as much as I trust my daughters? Is it because I feel the push of time in the classroom more than I do as a parent?

Many of the mistakes I believe I make in the classroom stem from this problem. If I were better able to pause with my students I would be able to respond to them in ways that would be respectful and would encourage the behaviors I want to see.

This will be one of my goals for this coming school year. I'm not yet sure how to go about it, but this seems like step one.


Teachermum said...

Such a good reminder - to remember to pause.
Funny, when I think about it though,I worry that I am better at pausing at school than with my own kids. Hmmm...better concentrate on doing both.

delta_dc said...

Have you read Debbie Miller's "Teaching with Intention"? I think you would like it. She deals with the issue of trusting learners.

Sarah said...

I've gotten pretty good at pausing in the classroom - it helps tremendously!!

Jenny said...

Teachermum, My husband said he thought the same thing about me (that I would be better at school than at home). I'm concerned about what that means he thinks about how I'm doing at home!

delta_dc, Funny you should mention that book, I had just in the past week added it to my 'to read' list. I have to wait until this summer writing institute is over before I'll have the time though. I loved Reading with Meaning and I'm really looking forward to this one.

Sarah, Yay! I'm glad to hear that it pays off. It's going to be one of my biggest goals this year. I may need to make myself a sign as a reminder.