If you’re struggling with classroom management and wondering why, one of the first areas to examine is the personality you bring with you to the classroom.
Many teachers become different people the minute their students walk through the door. Sometimes this is a good thing—if being around students makes you brighten like a Broadway singer or become as preternaturally calm as a mountain lake.
But for the vast number of teachers, the presence of a large and active group of students can, at least to some degree, bring about personality traits that are detrimental to classroom management success.
The good news is that with a simple two-minute routine you can condition yourself to eliminate those traits that work against you, and replace them with those that work in your favor.
The following six teacher personality traits make classroom management more difficult. You’ll do well to leave them outside your classroom door.
Impatient teachers talk fast, move fast, and tend to either look the other way in the face of misbehavior, or react emotionally to it. They rush through lessons, gloss over instructions, and out of necessity have lower expectations for students. This produces a restless, excitable classroom that is primed to cause trouble.
2. Quick To Anger
A single flash of anger can undo weeks of rapport building with your students. When you yell, scold, use sarcasm, or otherwise lose your cool, you distance yourself from your students and undermine their trust and respect of you. You become less approachable, less likeable, and less influential—all critical keys to creating a well-behaved classroom.
Teachers who are pessimistic in nature are unable to create the well-behaved classroom they desire. Negative thoughts, feelings, and attitudes about students—particularly difficult students—are impossible to hide. They reveal themselves through your words, body language, and tone of voice and make building relationships with them an impossibility.
Irritability (grouchiness, moodiness) communicates to students that they can’t trust you or depend on you. It creates resentment, confusion, and instability. It also causes you to be inconsistent—both with your classroom management plan and in your interactions with students—leading to more frequent and more severe misbehavior.
5. Overly Sensitive
Teachers with thin skin—those who take misbehavior personally—inevitably, and often subconsciously, seek revenge against their students. They can’t help themselves. Out of their resentment and spite they make the kind of classroom management mistakes like yelling, scolding, and holding grudges that result in a spiraling of student behavior.
6. Easily Frustrated
Frequent sighs, rolling eyes, red-faced lectures. Outward signs of frustration can cause enveloping, knife-cutting tension in your classroom. When you allow students to get under your skin, it not only makes your classroom unnerving and unpleasant, but it causes students to challenge your authority and test you whenever they get the chance.
A Simple Two-Minute Routine
The way you present yourself to your students has a monumental effect on classroom management—more so than most teachers realize. If you’re at all susceptible to one or more of the personality traits above, then you’ll be a more effective teacher if you get a handle on them.
The simplest way is to spend a couple of minutes before your students arrive each day with your eyes closed, visualizing your best self calmly and confidently managing your classroom.
Picture yourself responding to misbehavior with poise. Watch as you joyfully present your lessons to a responsive class. See yourself building rapport, loving your job, and following your classroom management plan to the letter.
Because when you choose to see only the best in yourself and in your students…
That’s exactly what you’ll get.
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