Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tips #21-25

Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 21

GROAN

When you feel tired and frustrated, just sit and groan. I like to put my head down on my desk or reading table as well. Long sorrowful groans are a great alternative to anger. The groaning will activate kids’ mirror neurons (the ones that make you yawn when you see someone else yawning) and cause them to calm down. Also, the kids might think that you are crazy, making them less likely to argue or act up.

 

Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 22

APOLOGIZE

Nothing will get a kid’s attention like an adult apologizing. It shows that you respect them enough to take the time to notice and be sorry for causing a problem for them. Whole-group apologies are great, and individual apologies are even better.

“I’m sorry I bumped into you. Are you OK?”

(Sometimes I’ll bump into a kid on purpose just so I can apologize to him.)

 

Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 23

NEVER TELL KIDS TO STOP RUNNING

If a kid runs in the hall and you tell them to stop, you have reinforced that negative behavior—especially if you yell or use anger. When you say, “STOP RUNNING!” and you have no consequence, what an even somewhat savvy kid will hear is, “YOU ARE ALLOWED TO RUN IN THIS SCHOOL AND NO ONE IS GOING TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT, SO PLEASE CONTINUE!!” Instead, using empathy, ask them to go back to where they started running and ask them to try it again. This simple difference in how we deal with an everyday negative behavior is the difference between having a school where kids either walk safely or run around like crazy people.

 

Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 24

DON’T WORK TOO HARD TO FIND COMMON INTERESTS WITH YOUR STUDENTS

It is not necessary or helpful to learn all about “what the kids are into these days.” Occasionally happening to find common, authentic interests (sports with many kids or TV shows with older kids, for example) is a great way to build relationships, but artificially trying to bond over something that the teacher isn’t really interested in will backfire. Kids will see through it and have less trust for their teacher.

 

 

Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 25

RELATE TO KIDS AS AN ADULT RELATING TO A KID, NOT AS BUDDIES HANGING OUT

As a teacher, you are THE authority figure in the room. It doesn’t matter if you are a 65-year-old teacher in a kindergarten room or a 22-year-old teaching high school English. You must place limits on kids and clearly be in charge. Maintaining this professional relationship can be as simple as calmly setting limits and enforcing them with calm action.