Growing the Whole Child

    Behavior management is a topic that encompasses so many things.  I think we, as teachers, think about the behaviors in our classroom a lot.  In our room, I want behavior management to really be behavior education.  It's not exactly a subject that we teach, but it is an  all encompassing part of our daily lives.
     I love the quote above by Alexander den Heijer because I feel that children often have so little power in their lives.  Their behaviors are one way they can express themselves and make their needs, thoughts, and feelings known.  This can happen in ways that are a little rough around the edges, but isn't that to be expected?  Through their behaviors, they are telling us what they need and what they want.  I feel that it's our job as teachers to act as a guide to figure out the problem together.  This is a very different idea than 'my way or the highway' and it definitely takes more work, but I also think it gives the students more ownership and comfort in our classroom.  They know they will be heard and know we will figure it out.
     I am a firm believer that appropriate behaviors need to be taught.  In teaching these, I also believe strongly that they should be taught so they become an intrinsic behavior.   "We do a great job all the time because we are helpers, not because someone is watching us."  My kids hear me say that all the time.  Now it has become a mantra for them- "We do our job because we are helpers." 

     At the beginning of the year, we talk about how we want our classroom to be and we agree to make it a pleasant place.  This year we talked about this chart:

     It is important for our students to understand what they can control.  We visit this often ("What are you in control of?") as a reminder when others are making choices we don't agree with.

   I could probably go on for pages and pages about this topic- it is one I find fascinating and one that is constantly growing and changing for me.  I will just leave with a thought, another idea, and a resource that I love. 

One thing that has served me well in the classrom is to always assume positive intent on the part of our students.  They are trying to get a message across, not ruin your day.




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