I’m right your wrong!

The most effective Classroom Teachers have cracked the unspoken code of the human condition. This competitive code is – Right Vs Wrong and by the way I’m always RIGHT!

As a classroom teacher it is very easy for conflict to arise with students. See if you recognize any of the following scenario:

  • A student disagrees with you as the teacher
  • The student sees no need to listen to your view as the view of their classmates is much more important
  • The student argues their opinion as if it is fact
  • Caught in an uncomfortable position, you use your authority to move on with the lesson
  • Both you and the student leave feeling frustrated, even saddened, or the student is disciplined

This scenario is a snapshot of the Right vs Wrong conundrum. It only takes one or two of these scenarios before a student begins to disengage emotionally.

As a teacher myself, I had to recognize that changing the paradigm of Right vs Wrong could only begin with me. The  first step in my own process was self-awareness and a willingness to self-reflect and ask the hard questions of myself. “Where do I need to improve my own  and SQ?” And, “Where do I need to become more emotionally and socially conscious in my interactions with my students?”

The implicit method of modeling the behaviors I ask of my students is the critical first step in the process of developing a culture of caring. The next step is the explicit teaching of Emotional and Social Literacy. This can be done through specific activities that help students develop an awareness of their own behavior.

Both implicit and explicit EQ and SQ education are essential components in all classrooms – whether primary, middle or secondary school. Human beings are social and emotional beings. This necessitates social and emotional education to help students move beyond the right vs wrong mind set.

An alternative to the above scenario might be:

  • A student disagrees with you
  • You and the student discuss the situation at a later date
  • You listen to the student’s perspective
  • The student listens to your view
  • You and the student find a higher common ground of agreement
  • The student does not lose
  • The bond of respect is strengthened

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