Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 1
Replace nearly everything you tell kids to do (“sit down”, “wash your hands”, “sit in your assigned seat”, etc.) with the following:
“What should you do now?”
Kids already know what they are supposed to do 90% of the time. Telling them what to do usually insults their intelligence and drains our energy. This question encourages thinking and sends the message that you think that they are smart enough to figure this out on their own.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 2
If a kid is somewhere that he shouldn’t be, no matter if it’s a kindergartener wandering away from his seat or a high school senior hanging out at his girlfriend’s locker as the bell rings, instead of telling him what to do, (“Get to class”, or “Sit in your seat,”) try this:
“Where should you be? Thanks.”
This assumes both intelligence and compliance, greatly increasing the chances that the kids in question will act in a compliant, intelligent way!
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 3
Today, instead of telling a kid to stop doing something, try looking at him with the most bizarre facial expression that you can create. I bet he stops doing what he is doing without you having to say anything.
Advantage: lunatic teacher.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 4
Try becoming as sad as you can be instead of getting angry if your classroom feels out of control or you feel yourself getting frustrated. Start with a deep inhale, and a sound of dismay: a sorrowful groan. Then try putting your head down on your desk or in your hands.
Continue to groan sadly and slowly.
Kids’ mirror neurons (those brain cells that make you yawn when you see someone else yawning) will tend to turn kids from hyped up little jerks into kids who will tend to be able to think and listen. It often would turn my classroom completely silent.
*Hint: This won’t work very well once kids are really angry, so do this before things get too out of control.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 5
Today, pick one kid in your class if you have the same kids all day. For intermediate, middle or high school teachers, pick one kid in each period.
At some point in the day or period, stop what you are doing and physically move towards the kid and ask him something about his life.
Here’s the trick. This is more for you than it is for him. See what this simple act does for your mood, agitation level, and feeling of well being.