It finally happened. A new side of my teacher self made her debut appearance this afternoon.
One of my students has been struggling to focus in my classroom for the past few months. He went from bringing his A game to distracting himself and everyone around him on a daily basis. He has incredible potential when he gets down to business; unfortunately, these days, it’s a rare occurrence. I’ve asked him to leave the classroom before, and today, I had to take that action again.
But, today, it felt different. My words took on an edge — serious, firm. My gazed conveyed certainty. I stood strong, tall. Today, for the first time, I believed in my behavior management.
Maybe it’s because I have seen glimpses of my students’ potential. Maybe it’s because I see the stakes more clearly, now that we’re closing in on the EOI testing window. Maybe it’s Thursday, and I’m tired, and I’m not putting up with shenanigans anymore. Regardless of the reason, I have a semester under my belt, and I believe it when I’m addressing negative behaviors in my classroom. I know that my actions are for the good of my students.
For the very first time, I felt energized by my behavior management, rather than exhausted. My on-task students were grateful that I stepped up to the plate, and even my distracted students felt a new sense of purpose. After speaking with the cause of this breakthrough in the hallway, I received an apology and a secret handshake on the way out.
Loving my students doesn’t mean always being nice — and having an energizing day in my classroom doesn’t mean ignoring distracting behaviors.