Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip #56
DON’T BE COOL
You do not need to get your students to think that you are hip and cool. Most kids don’t need or want a cool teacher, they need and want someone to set limits without embarrassing them or yelling. Think back to when you were a kid and your dad tried to do a hip dance, or your mom tried to wear the kind of clothes that you and your friends were wearing.
So leave the Justin Bieber poster at home (unless you actually love Justin Bieber, in which case, yikes).
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip #57
DON’T “GET DOWN ON THEIR LEVEL”
This one is only for teachers of younger kids or for really tall high school teachers. Please don’t get down on a knee or bend over to get “on their level” when talking with them. This is one of those pieces of advice that someone said in the 70’s and has been canonized into lore for no good reason. It’s wrong and stupid. If you need to whisper something to a kid, great, but please don’t make a habit of getting on the same eye level with kids. Adults are bigger than kids for lots of important reasons, one of them being that our size shows our dominance. This is good. Don’t give away your dominance by shrinking yourself. You are big, they are little. There is no reason to change that.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip #58
DON’T EAT LUNCH WITH YOUR STUDENTS
OK, you could make the case that this is a direct contradiction of the tip where I suggested that you should eat with your students. Fair point. While you should eat with your students, at least occasionally, you also need to take some time for yourself, put your feet up, and watch “The Price is Right” while eating too much chocolate. In fact, do this every day until you feel ready to go back to eating with your students.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip #59
USE NOTE WRITING AS AN INTERVENTION
I teach tons of interventions. Here’s a fun one that seems to have inexplicable magical powers. It works really well with young kids through high school seniors. When a kid has been exhibiting a negative behavior, but you don’t feel like you have to use a consequence quite yet, hand him a note on a post-it that says the following and quickly walk away.
“That tapping of your pencil really bothers me. Please stop. Thanks!”
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip #60
DON’T REPEAT RULES
Your students are not ignoring the rules because they are forgetting them, they are not following the rules because you aren’t enforcing them. Set the limits one time per year, use interventions, and if those don’t work or are not appropriate, use consequences, both immediate and delayed.