I’m acutely aware that never in the history of people being told to “calm down” has anyone actually done it.
But is it possible that we in the teaching profession need to take a little chill pill as we traverse Term 4? I think it could be.
Yes, I know things are hard, perhaps more so now than ever. However, I’ve also seen too many teachers responding to the hard times with panic rather than an intention to work through that which they can control.
In panic, we tend to default to old, punitive mindsets and seek to “stamp out” any problems with student conduct that emerge. You didn’t get into teaching to stamp things out. Calm down! Lean into your best practice rather than panicking into relational destruction.
In panic, we turn on each other. We blame leadership for not supporting us when the challenges and setbacks of our classrooms were often to be expected. Calm down! We all had dodgy lessons and rotten days before covid too. In teaching, you sometimes get unlucky despite doing most things right. Fault and blame don’t belong in our reflection or our solutions.
I’ve even noticed teachers and leaders turning on each other online.
The social media debates around the provision of lesson plan banks, how to teach reading and what to do about working conditions seem to have moved from the gathering of insights to pitched battles where those who are the most sarcastic and condescending claim victory over other educators who are also doing their best.
Calm down, people!
Choosing calm brings you clarity. The answers have been visible in front of you all along.
Be kind to yourselves and each other. Start small and work to your strengths. Prioritise progress above benchmarks, attainable goals rather than miracles or absolutes, possibility instead of blame and collaboration before competition.
We’ve got this. But we do need to stay calm and stick together.
Keep fighting that good fight,
PS. I’m running a pretty important webinar on Wednesday 9th November at 2pm AEDT where we can make some of this ambition more practical for your school. It’s totally FREE and it’s titled “Leading Whole School Behaviour Improvement”. You can register here … and you should.
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