As a husband, parent, and teacher, it is very rare that I lose my cool. My daughters can count on one hand the number of times I’ve gotten really angry. My students know that if I’m really quiet, then they need to wonder what they’ve done wrong. One student asked, “Do you ever get angry???”
I’d love to write about this edition of sixth grade, but I’m not sure how ethical it would be. I will say, they are an enjoyable group. However, beyond that, I probably cannot say much more.
I can talk growing up though. Just like my students, I can count the number of times where I saw or heard my parents truly lose their cool. It just never happened. They are two of the most calm, composed, and “adult” people I’ve even know. Swearing? Maybe. I think I heard both curse a handful of time. Even in times of stress, I rarely heard profanity. Yelling? Again, maybe. I just don’t recall them raising their voices, either at us or at each other. It just wasn’t who they were, period.
Don’t get me wrong, they both could make me feel very very small by using their words, but voices were rarely raised. I’ve taken that to heart in my relationships with my wife and daughters, working to keep that calm, even when I’m angry. Of course, I’m not quite a good as my parents were (not hardly), but I do try.
At school, kids work and work to get under my skin and I work to let that nonsense roll off my back. There are days where I’d love to just go on a ballistic, red in the face, yelling fit. These fits never ever do any good in a classroom. It hurts student relationships in the worst way and never ends well for anyone involved.
So, as you are feeling stressed about the holidays, stressed about remote learning, stressed about face to face learning, or just stressed, what can you do? Breath, smile, and talk in a low voice.
That’s the voice that make your students and your kids go “uh oh”.
The looks on their faces: priceless!