Skip to 0 minutes and 0 secondsYeasmin: Hello, everybody. This is Yeasmin for Jane and Yeasmin's Video Diaries. Jane and I will be mentors for this course. We'll be dropping in every now and again with a little video diary. And hopefully, you've spotted that we've been making comments all the way through the course as well. So both, Jane and myself, are experienced teachers and running alongside the course with the course participants. And adding the odd comment here and there as well. So welcome to the course and hope you've been enjoying it so far. So these video diaries are really just a quick description of our reflections on how, we think, the course is going.
Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsWith behavior management, there's a lot of emotions going on with behavior management as this cartoon sums up. I know that Jane has fished out some of the comments the participants have made that have either gotten lots of likes or are quite interesting. So I'm going to hand over to Jane to reflect on those comments. Jane, over to you.
Skip to 1 minute and 19 secondsJane: Thank you, Yeasmin. All right, first of all, this is actually the most popular, most liked comment that we've had so far on this MOOC. Very interesting one from Johnie who writes about the responsibility of parents. And wouldn't our energies be better directed towards educating parents and helping them see where their responsibilities lay? And as I said, that's been very well commented on and liked by other participants. And then the next slide that I'm going to look at, just to say at any point, if you want to read these in detail, you can just stop the recording. So I'm not going to stop and read each one in detail now.
Skip to 1 minute and 58 secondsThis is Annie, who I think is almost the flip side of the same coin, who talks about the feeling of guilt when you lose it. And let's face it, we've all lost it sometimes, haven't we? What we're dealing with, what these parents send us, is sometimes beyond our ability to deal with it. And afterwards, we can feel really, really bad about it. And then just one more slide to look at before I talk about all three of them. Holly also alludes to that feeling of guilt and shame. So the teachers don't like to admit that they've got a problem with behavior control. It feels like not only you're a bad teacher.
Skip to 2 minutes and 38 secondsIf you've got that behavior you can't control, you feel not only like a bad teacher, you feel like a bad person. It really does strike the heart of who you are. And she also alludes, and this is something that quite a few other people have commented on, about the senior leadership team. Also there's a culture of wanting to cover things up, who don't admit there's a problem. And as many others have commented, where are the senior leadership team in August? Where were they with their strategies, with their whole-school policies, with their support for teachers?
Skip to 3 minutes and 12 secondsAnd these three slides together, which incidentally, are the three most commented on and liked in the whole course so far, seems to me, to representing that collective howl of anguish in teachers as we feel faced by so much that should be other people's responsibility. And then wracked with our own guilt when we can't deal with what we're handed. And these all seem to be different facets of the same coin. Because what we're looking at is perhaps a lack of skills all around. I, frequently, travel on a train where there seems to be a particular sort of parent and child. And I sit there and think "thank heavens", that child isn't in my class.
Skip to 3 minutes and 57 secondsAnd I get to see the parents fail to give boundaries. One minute, they're clipping the child around the ear. The next, they're giving them a packet of sweets. The child, meanwhile, runs havoc in the carriage and annoys everybody else. But it strikes me these parents don't know what to do. And they're actually suffering much more than any teacher that gets to hand that child back at weekends, holidays and at the end of the day. Likewise, we're seeing in leadership, even if they were really good at managing their own class, do they know how to pass that learning on? Do they know what they were doing?
Skip to 4 minutes and 33 secondsI know there was strategies I used with my class and it wasn't until after I was finished teaching this. It was in this role on this course, I was able to name and understand the strategies I was using. Now, I can pass them on. I couldn't to that point, because I didn't have the skills. And I think that shared thread with all of these comments, which had been so liked by everyone, is that a lack of skills. Lack of skills in teachers, in senior leadership, in parents. And that feeling of guilt, and blame, and anger that it can engender. What do you think, Yeasmin?
Skip to 5 minutes and 15 secondsYeasmin: Absolutely, I really like your terminology. "Howl of anguish" - that made me laugh. And I think it really does. It's one of things that sets this topic apart from the others is that we do care what the kids think of us. And how they respond to us and how they react to us. And it is something that any teacher who is developing their behavior management tactics will be able to tell you that maybe of all the things that impact on us on an emotional level. That's the one that probably impacts the most. And for new teachers, it's probably the one that concerns them the most as well. So I'm really, what you said, Jane, really resonated with me.
Skip to 6 minutes and 6 secondsAnd I think it really will resonate with lots of teachers as well. I think, at some point or another, we've all experienced teachers and inexperienced teachers have felt like of these. So howl of anguish is, the lady on the right, confused as well and maybe we might've been wanted to bury our head in the sand. I can say from personal experience that I've had all three of those at some point or another. I can honestly say another thing is that we're not born expert.
Skip to 6 minutes and 39 secondsWhen I first started teaching, my behavior management was terrible. I used to shout a lot. I couldn't understand why the students were not following my instructions. When I realized that the shouty thing wasn't working, I haven't quite found the balance of assertiveness and then I kind of went the other way. And this course does very eloquently, Paul Dix describes the difference between hostile, being passive, which is the other extreme. And actually finding the correct balance, which is being assertive, which is a nice balance between the two. And actually, finding that balance takes some trial and error and really to having a go.
Skip to 7 minutes and 24 secondsAnd I think one of the important things with this course is for the approach that we've coming with and it is important to acknowledge. So yes, there are lots of emotions as, Jane, you put very eloquently with your examples there. We do bring much to the table but also we need to come to the table with our problem-solving attitude as well. I think that's really, really important. So I know that, Jane, you wanted to talk about if you could change one thing, I'll hand back over to you.
Skip to 8 minutes and 0 secondsJane: Yes, I think that's sort of the thing with this first week, isn't it? If you could just change one thing. And I think actually, everybody, who's on this course, has changed one thing already. You're doing this course, you're taking responsibility for what you can do and you're trying to learn more skills. And as Yeasmin has already hinted, we're both learning new skills at all, even though this is the third or fourth time we've been involved with this course. But I think the most important thing is that you could just try and separate the feeling of blame or guilt. Behavior management is just another skill. If you're having problems, it's not your fault.
Skip to 8 minutes and 40 secondsIt's not my fault when I have problems. Okay, there were things I could have done differently, there were things I could have done better, I was doing my best. And this is just another skill. It doesn't make you a bad person, it doesn't make you a good person. If you can manage your class, it just means you've got more skills. And that's what this course was all about. So good luck with that. Yeasmin, to finish.
Skip to 9 minutes and 5 secondsYeasmin: Yeah, so really just coming back to this bit about personal empowerment. I think Dr. Haim Ginott really, this saying, poem, or quote if you like, is a really brilliant one. And Dr. Haim said that basically, we are the ones in our classroom, we teachers. We're the ones who have the most control. We can escalate something or de-escalate something. And so we can talk about what parents do, we can talk about the student's upbringing and the things that happen in the classroom that may be outside of our control. However, once they've reached our classroom, we have control. And so the first step is to recognize that we are actually the most powerful person in any classroom.
Skip to 9 minutes and 54 secondsAnd so it does come down to getting the skills in order to point that power in the right direction. And the first step is to acknowledge that we are the ones who can make a difference and we can blame other things. And for sure, there are other factors. That is not to negate the other factors. But it's to also say that well, let's focus on the thing that we can do something about. And that's us, we are the most powerful person in the classroom and we can, as Dr. Haim says, de-escalate or escalate a situation. And so it is the skills that makes a difference. And trust me, if somebody like me who had awful behavior management.
Skip to 10 minutes and 40 secondsIf I can do it, and it is a journey, then I really think anybody can. I wasn't born with those skills, I've developed them. And so I really look forward to everybody's comments coming up. Jane, how about you?
Skip to 10 minutes and 52 secondsJane: Yes, I'm really looking forward to this course. I think it's one of my favorite courses that I do, because I know that it really can make a difference. And as I said earlier, I have learned so much doing it. So good luck, everyone. Enjoy the journey.
Skip to 11 minutes and 4 secondsYeasmin: Good luck and see you next week.
Jane & Yeasmin's Video Diary
Jane & Yeasmin reflect on the preceding week.
As an experiment, and inspired by the use of weekly feedback videos used on some courses from Monash University, we’ve invited Jane & Yeasmin to have a go at reflecting on some of the things that have caught their attention in the preceding week.
Do anything of the things they mention resonate with you? Use the Comments below to share your thoughts.
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