Everyone needs to just calm down.
Take a breath.
Take a step back.
No, I mean it, just stop and take a breath.
Having returned to supply teaching (and after 5 years of dealing with mainly first world problems) I have had to, not only recall, but use daily, my classroom management training.
My last job had allowed me to become soft.
Class control took a tiny percentage of my resources.
That’s why I could spend more time on creativity, but I digress.
Recently, the 45th President was displaying the attributes and behaviour of a certain type of pupil, so in response I have some advice to the US media.
The US Media, who, btw, are under attack – just a hop skip and a jump away from censorship and
love them or hate them,
whether or not you believe that they’re all just getting what they deserve,
anyone believing in the freedom of speech has the duty to protect them all,
even Fox News.
I watched the press conference last week and I saw an entire room full of teachers fail to control one disruptive pupil.
Admittedly, this particular character may not immediately appear to be a teenager
(with a big ego and tiny hands),
but deep down underneath all the insecurities
(and possible mental health issues?),
let’s just pretend for a moment that he is.
When I was a student, I chose the special needs module and I learned from a teaching assistant in an EBD school – Emotionally and behaviourally disturbed, no, it’s not me using those words, yes, they actually called it that, but it was 20 odd years ago, so it’s ok, unclench…
This teaching assistant was ‘The Pupil Whisperer’, he could calm down a Tasmanian devil with a single word.
He told me his basic rules.
Remain calm at all times
Do not get dragged into an argument, there’s no point.
After years of dealing with different and challenging iterations of this archetypal pupil, I have added the following guidelines for interaction
Require simply yes and no answers, where possible
Establish the facts. i.e.
The constitution states XX, yes or no?
The definition of unconstitutional is XX, yes or no? etc.
Present (possible/probable/likely) consequences of current behaviour
Offer (suggest) choice of (desirable) future course of action.
So, dear media, instead of getting caught up in the behaviour, manage it and help the adolescent modify it.
Take this information, ignore it, use it, laugh at it, try it out,
I’m just putting it out there.
If you want to read my evaluation of my time teaching, you can find it here: