"I like the way Jordan's sitting quietly..."
"I like the way Dylan's picking up his toys!"
"I like the way Molly is speaking to her friends..."
I've been trying a new approach in my classroom. Instead of calling out negative behavior directly to the "culprit," I'm trying to focus on the positive behavior of the children around said culprit, and ignoring the negative stuff.
It worked today! For about an hour...
Perhaps I need to keep trying. I'm really trying to be positive though, because one of my students is literally driving me up the wall with her inappropriate behavior. And instead of calling attention to her nastiness, I'm really trying to make her realize that I'm only acknowleging the pleasant behavior (within reason, of course).
Guess what she said to me...
"Miss Chwissy, you're only talking to the kids who are listening and being good. Why are you doing that?"
UGH! You're FOUR! Not even FIVE! FOUR, DANG IT! How did you catch on so fast?
What I really wanted to say was:
"I DON'T like the way that you're spitting at your friends. I DONT'T like the way that you're in my face all day long and a half of a second after I begin to talk to an adult, you jump in front of me and tell me something stupid like, 'my daddy eats breafits.' I DON'T like the way that throughout the entire naptime when I'm trying to write the class newsletter on the computer, I have to stop every 3 minutes because you're kicking the table and pulling your dress over your head and exposing your Dora the Explorer underpants, when I specifically tell her every day to put some dag gone shorts on under her skirt! I DON'T LIKE IT!"
But I can't. I'm a teacher and I'm not allowed to have bad days in front of the child. Instead I just keep my composure, turn to one of her classmates and say,
I LOVE the way you're listening! LOVE IT!
Boy, I really needed to get that out...
Well, I DON'T like the way that I'm still at my computer, NOT sleeping. But I DO like the way that getting that out made me feel, so I'll take the bad with the good.